Zakuani says Cobblers have to '˜quickly address' defensive issues

Defender Gaby Zakuani admits the Cobblers are going to have to '˜quickly address' the team's vulnerability at set-pieces following Tuesday night's 3-0 derby humbling at Peterborough United.

Thursday, 20th October 2016, 9:09 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 3:37 pm
NOT GOOD ENOUGH - Gaby Zakuani and his Cobblers team-mates show their disappointment after conceding the first goal in Tuesday's 3-0 defeat at Peterborough United (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Town conceded twice in the first-half to headed goals from corners, the first after Shaquille Coulthirst shrugged off the attentions of marker Dave Buchanan and nipped in front of Alex Revell to head home at the near post, and the second when Zander Diamond nodded into his own net under pressure from Ryan Taffozoli.

They were goals of embarrassing simplicity to concede from a Cobblers point of view, and former Posh defender Zakuani says it is not acceptable.

“It’s disappointing. It’s about small margins in this league and two set-pieces have done us in the first-half,” said the 30-year-old.

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“Apart from that I didn’t think there was much in the game.

“We went for it second-half and I thought we were the better team, but on the break they get a third one and the score looks a lot worse than it was.

“But we’re not happy.

“We’re disappointed with the goals. We started the season with a solid base first, so to concede at set-pieces is something we’re not happy about and we’ll have to address it quickly.”

Zakuani felt the 3-0 scoreline flattered Peterborough, and added: “We could have had a penalty (in the second half) but those things can go either way - we’ve just got to pick ourselves up.

“There wasn’t much in the game, they didn’t really open us up and I think we had as many opportunities and half chances as they did.

“It’s one of those things that it just wasn’t our night.”

Zakuani’s performance was a plus-point for the Cobblers on a night when there wasn’t many.

The DR Congo skipper had to sit out Saturday’s 3-1 home defeat to Millwall after losing his place due to being on international duty, and he enjoyed his return to London Road, a club where he spent six years as a player.

He got an excellent reception before and after the game, as well as a bit of stick from the London Road terrace during it, and said: “I think the reception was very good before the game.

“They applauded me and sang my name after the game as well, so it was better than expected.

“But I came here for three points, I wasn’t really interested in the reception.

“It’s nice to see that they remember me, but it was about the three points.”

Tuesday night was Zakuani’s first appearance for the Cobblers since his late dismissal in the 3-2 defeat to Bristol Rovers on October 1, and he was glad to get through the whole game.

“I managed to last a bit longer than last time so that in itself is an improvement!,” he joked

“The only positive for me is that it was nice to be back in the team after the international break.

“Now I’ve got it to take it from here. We’re back in on Thursday and we have a few things to work on.

“The gaffer’s told us we just need to stay patient. We’re doing okay and we can’t get too down about defeats, we’ve got to keep going.”

The Cobblers return to Sky Bet League One action on Saturday when they travel to bottom-of-the-table and managerless Shrewsbury Town.

It is a great chance for 12th-placed Town to bounce back after a run of three defeats and one draw in their past four league games, and Zakuani said: “We’re going there to win.

“We’ve got things to work on we know that, but they won’t be high on confidence so both teams will be at it and trying to get back to winning ways.”