Cobblers boss Aidy Boothroyd says his players need to get to know each other as a matter of urgency, and is fully aware good home form alone will again not be good enough for the side to be promoted this season.
Town were beaten 2-0 at Southend United on Saturday, their second loss in as many games on their travels this season.
It was a result influenced greatly by Chris Hackett’s 22nd-minute sending-off and Roy O’Donovan’s missed penalty on eight minutes, but Boothroyd did not want to make excuses for another away defeat.
And he is fully aware of the need for his players to quickly learn the lessons of such results if they are to avoid the kind of form that plagued their road campaign last season.
“What I can’t do is make excuses,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter what I think to the referee’s performance, we’ve got to be able to deal with events in games and adapt to them.
“We are a team that need to get better more quickly and get to know each other quickly, not just in terms of playing football but in terms of managing the match and managing the referee.
“If we get a penalty we need to despatch it and keep things steady for the next 10 or 15 minutes.
“But we don’t, we get carried away with it.
“Last year we had similar things and we learned lessons eventually and that’s what we’ve got to do now.”
And he added: “We can make all the excuses we want, at the end of the day if we’re serious about doing something this season we have to win games like that.
“We know the away form has to improve, we’ve got a couple of injuries but those players are coming back now and relying on our home form won’t be good enough.”
The Cobblers are back in Sky Bet League Two action on Saturday when they host Torquay United at Sixfields (ko 3pm).