Boss Rob Page has urged the Cobblers supporters to get themselves down to Sixfields and get right behind the team as Town try to end their mini losing streak against Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.
Page accepts his team is currently going through ‘a blip’ and ‘an indifferent time’, and says he understands why he has come in for criticism from sections of the club’s supporters, especially in the wake of last weekend’s painful derby defeat to Peterborough United.
But the Town boss insists he is ‘not worried’, is in no doubt his team’s fortunes will change for the better, and he hopes ‘everybody sticks together’ to ensure it happens as soon as possible.
“I hope it’s a big crowd (on Saturday), because to get a good crowd through the gates is fantastic,” said Page, who saw his team suffer single-goal defeats to Gillingham, Peterborough and Bradford in the space of 11 days.
“We are having a bit of a blip and an indifferent time at the minute, off the back of three defeats, but it is important that everybody sticks together.
“Everybody is going to have their opinions, and everybody is going to have their grumbles, and that is fine. I have been in football long enough to understand that.
Everybody is going to have their opinions, and everybody is going to have their grumbles, and that is fine. I have been in football long enough to understand that. But we want the supporters to come through the door on Saturday and help us get a winCobblers boss Rob Page
“But we want the supporters to come through the door on Saturday and help us get a win.”
There has been plenty of criticism heading Page’s way on social media over the past week or so, and the manager was also confronted face-to-face by a particularly irate finger-pointing supporter at the end of last weekend’s last-gasp Posh defeat.
The Town boss knows that such things come with the territory of being a football manager, but feels some of the negative feeling has been exacerbated by the manner of the loss to Peterborough, with Chris Forrester heading home the only goal of the game 30 seconds from the end of time added on.
“We are on the back of three defeats, and the biggest one for the supporters to take was the Peterborough one,” said Page, who also saw his team lose 3-0 to Posh at London Road last month.
“It is a local derby, we haven’t played them here for years, the expectation building up to that game, that is the one that hurts.
“Every defeat hurts, but from a Northampton point of view I guarantee that if you ask any of the fans it is the two defeats against Peterborough (that hurt the most), and that is understandable.
“We hate losing games, we hate losing local derbies, and one particular fan made it quite clear right at the end of the game when he came on to me and made his feelings quite clear that it was a local derby.
“Well, we knew that.
“Nobody was hurting as much as me and the players that day, but it is how we manage the defeats and move on to the next game.
“The next game, unfortunately for us, was at Bradford and we had to go and try to put it right.
“We were still in the game there after 95 minutes, but it was another defeat.”
Page has seen the Cobblers slip from sixth in Sky bet League One to 15th on the back of those three defeats, but they are still closer to the play-offs (five points) than the relegation zone (six) and the Town boss is staying upbeat.
“We can’t sit here and grumble about it and feel sorry for ourselves, we have to get on with it and pick ourselves up,” said Page.
“Nobody is going to come in and wave a magic wand and make it all right for us.
“When you look at the three games we have lost, at Gillingham we should be 2-0 up going in at half-time, but we don’t take our chance, then we concede in the 93rd minute to lose the game.
“We haven’t lost 3-0, we are in the game right until the end.
“Against Peterborough, we are 30 seconds away from a clean sheet and a point, and maybe a bit of pride restored. But a lapse in cocentration, bad decision making, has cost us.
“So we are not a million miles away, and it is frustrating for everybody concerned, but I am not worried about it.
“You go through seasons like this, and every team in this division is having spells where they are maybe winning two or three games, and then losing two or three, so we are not on our own.
“Do we want that level of consistency? Of course we do, and if we get that we will be right back up where want to be.
“All we can do now is react positively from Tuesday and prepare for a big game on Saturday.”