Aidy Boothroyd described the Cobblers’ fifth victory in their past six home games as ‘a scruffy one’ that he felt was partly due to losing two games to the weather over Christmas.
Town were denied the chance to play at both Wimbledon and Gillingham over the festive period and took their time to get going against Dagenham & Redbridge before eventually recording a 3-1 win.
It was an illustration of the nature of the victory that two of the home side’s goals were scoring by opposing players in the wrong end, although Chris Hackett’s strike in between was an excellent one.
The result lifts Boothroyd’s men to 10th in npower League Two and bridges the gap to the play-off places to four points but the manager admitted it was an untidy one and wants an improvement when his side play host to promotion-chasing Fleetwood on Saturday.
“We rode our luck today and it was a very scruffy performance,” he said. “But you have to give credit to Dagenham, they came to try to stop us playing but we got the goals at the right time.
“Dagenham gave us a lot of problems and their set plays were a cause for concern in the second half.
“We looked ring-rusty because of the lay-off, having the two games that we should have played over Christmas postponed.
“But you are never going to play good football every week of the season, with the amount of changes, injuries and the weather.
“It turned out to be a comfortable victory in the end but now we need to get some consistency back into our games.
“The result has given us the platform to push on for the play-offs. We’ve got games in hand but we’re going to be playing against teams around us now and it’s important we build on this win with some more good results.”
Boothroyd also confirmed after the game that he has offered a professional contract to youth-team midfielder Lewis Hornby and that the club are confident of signing Clarke Carlisle permanently.
Carlisle was unable to play against Dagenham as his loan expired while the transfer window was closed.
However, three other loan players - Danny East (Hull City), Henoc Mukendi (Liverpool) and Chris Smith (Swindon Town) have returned to their parent clubs.
Manchester City midfielder Emyr Huws’ deal at Sixfields expires after the Fleetwood game this weekend.