After taking heart from Saturday’s improved display against Scunthorpe United, Cobblers defender David Buchanan admits his side desperately need to start winning games sooner rather than later to ease fears of being dragged into a relegation battle.
A vastly-improved Northampton display should have earned them at least a point against in-form United but Josh Morris became the latest player to bag a late Sixfields winner for a visiting team and condemn Town to yet another home defeat.
That’s their fifth home loss in a row and 10th in 12 in all, a run of form that has sent them tumbling towards relegation with just five points now separating Northampton and the bottom four.
Incoming manager Justin Edinburgh will take the reins from Monday and he will hope to build on Saturday’s encouraging performance, if not result, with Buchanan hopeful that better fortunes lie in wait.
“We’re very disappointed because it’s another game we’ve lost, but there are a lot of positives,” he said afterwards.
“Last week’s performance was embarrassing from a player’s perspective but I thought we came out and looked organised and took the game to Scunthorpe from the first whistle.
You can either lie down and sulk or you can come in with a smile on your face and try to put things right and I’m glad that’s what the lads are trying to do.
“In the first-half I thought we were the better team and didn’t deserve to go behind.
“In recent weeks we’ve folded when we’ve gone 1-0 down but we kept at it and kept being positive and got ourselves in the game with a great goal.
“At half-time we felt confident and we said to ourselves that we’ve got to keep pressing on and can’t have what happened against Bradford when we got penned in.
“I thought we did that. We kept creating chances but ultimately the lad’s put it in from 25 yards. It’s a great finish but there are still little things we can work on together.”
It’s at Sixfields in particular where the Cobblers have struggled for any kind of form, failing to collect a single point since October, a run which has put them third from bottom in the League One ‘home’ table, above only MK Dons and Oldham Athletic.
That is in stark contrast to last campaign when a home defeat was a much rarer occurrence – with just three all season – and Buchanan realises the need to start taking points irrespective of performances, both home and away, to climb away from danger.
He added: “People say ‘what’s done is done’ and that’s true but we didn’t lose games at home last season, especially games like Saturday – those were the games that we were going on to win.
“I thought we pushed on and had a lot of good chances. We were a bit unlucky and hit the post and had headers just going over.
“We’ve had loads of pressure. Some people wouldn’t have thought that performance was possible after Bristol Rovers but it was a positive reaction after a disappointment.
“We’ve got to be more ruthless in both boxes. It felt like we had more shots and created more pressure but they’re top of the league for a reason and (Josh) Morris gets a chance out of nothing and puts it into the top corner.
“That’s what we’ve got to get back to. We’ve just got to get a result from somewhere and keep moving forward.
“You can either lie down and sulk or you can come in with a smile on your face and try to put things right and I’m glad that’s what the lads are trying to do.”