Defender Ash Taylor admitted the Cobblers shot themselves in the foot with their dismal first-half performance in Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat to Gillingham.
Town slipped to 20th in the Sky Bet League One table after the disappointing Sixfields loss, with Taylor and his team unable to recover from a shocking start that saw them 2-0 down inside 18 minutes.
It was a bad first-half and we shot ourselves in the foot. We didn’t start well and gave away two poor goals.Cobblers captain Ash Taylor
Josh Parker and Tom Eaves scored the goals for a rampant Gills side, who could easily have been further ahead by half-time such was their total dominance against a lacklustre Cobblers team.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s men did improve in the second half, and pulled a goal back through Taylor 10 minutes after the break, but they couldn’t force an equaliser.
The loss was Town’s second in a row at home, and quickly brought the team and supporters back down to earth following Saturday’s encouraging 3-1 win at AFC Wimbledon.
“It was a bad first-half and we shot ourselves in the foot,” said Taylor, who is captaining the team with David Buchanan currently out of favour. “We didn’t start well and gave away two poor goals.
“The second-half was a lot better. Performance-wise, we went at them and got a goal but like I said we shot ourselves in the foot in the first-half.
“We were a lot more like it in the second-half but we can’t start like we did and expect to win any game.”
The Cobblers’ current inconsistency is becoming a genuine cause for concern, and Taylor admits it is a worry for him, although he can’t pinpoint what the problem is.
“We’re hit and miss at the minute and I can’t put my finger on why that is,” said the former Aberdeen man.
“We put a good run together and then we have a bad performance and we need to cut that out and build on good performances.”
The positive of the night for Taylor was his goal, which was his fourth of the season, and it was a neat clancing header from a Matt Grimes free-kick.
“Me and Grimesy spoke about,” revealed the 27-year-old.
“He looked at hitting me with a little ball over the top and I made the run.
“I didn’t know too much about it, but I tried to help it on and it managed to go in the top corner. Sometimes it comes off and catches the goalkeeper unguarded.
“It was a good header but it’s all about the performance for me and the first-half wasn’t good enough so we’ll look to put that right.”
The Cobblers are quickly back in action on Saturday when they travel to play-off chasing Scunthorpe United, who are currently fifth in the table following a 2-2 draw at Peterborough United on Tuesday night.
Town will go into that game without Hildeberto Pereira, as the Portuguese winger was red-carded after the final whistle on Tuesday for dissent against referee Charles Breakspear.
Taylor didn’t witness the incident that led to the dismissal, which is Pereira’s fourth in just a season and a half of English football, but admitted he will be having a word with the former Nottingham Forest man.
“To be honest I didn’t see it,” said Taylor. “As I came in I heard he got sent off so I can’t comment on it.
“I don’t know what happened, but I’m sure we’ll discuss it and we can rein him in a bit.”