David Flitcroft, Bury’s increasingly under pressure manager, was left to rue individual mistakes and poor defending after his side slumped to a seventh straight defeat on Saturday when going down 3-2 at Northampton Town.
The Cobblers dominated much of Saturday’s encounter and deservedly led 3-0 after 74 minutes as Marc Richards turned in Matty Taylor’s free-kick before thumping home a second-half penalty.
Taylor’s exquisite strike made it three but Bury launched a late onslaught and almost pulled off a dramatic draw thanks to two goals in quick succession, only to run out of time.
“It was a difficult afternoon,” admitted Flitcroft. “I’m looking at the goals as individuals - three set-pieces where we have got time to set up, time to organise.
“With the first one, we didn’t deal with the ball coming in. They were good quality but I’d expect us to deal with it.
“The second goal, we spoke to Niall Maher and told him, the player’s not going to go anywhere, we went through it with Zac Clough on Monday night.
“He has made another mistake but it’s up to me now to pull him through it and support him.
“The third one is great quality but he shouldn’t put it in from where he did.
“The goals came at the wrong times.
“When we gave the penalty away we really started surging forwards. Hallam Hope and George Miller on the break were really beginning to cause them problems.
“They had a real go and a real fight but the three goals that we conceded were very soft goals. You can’t come here and expect to get three points, or even a point, by conceding three soft goals so it’s disappointing.
“When he put six minutes added time up you thought we could spin it around but we shouldn’t have to in that manner and we shouldn’t get to the stage of being 3-0 down.”
Flitcroft has come under pressure from certain sections of Bury’s support in recent weeks, and the travelling fans made their frustrations known during Saturday’s game by directing unfavourable chants at their manager.
Since winning the manager of the month award in September, Flitcroft has now seen his side lose seven in a row.
“It’s been a horrendous month,” he bemoaned. “We’ve just not been able to stop the rot.
“There’s been some fans who haven’t wanted me from day one and there are fans that haven’t enjoyed me being the Bury manager.
“If people want to judge three years work in three and a half weeks then they can do that, but my time here should be judged over three years and what we’ve achieved.
“I was delighted with the fans that stayed and clapped the players off because we genuinely work hard as a group and as staff and we’ve given it everything.
“We’re only a few results short of being back in the play-offs and I believe we’ll turn a corner soon.”