Defender Evan Horwood admits he is at a loss to explain the ‘soft underbelly’ that blighted the Cobblers season.
Town wrapped up their campaign with a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday, with the winner coming eight minutes into added time at the end of the game.
What happened on Saturday has happened far too many times, and we can’t really put our finger on what it isCobblers defender Evan Horwood
The Cobblers had fought back from 2-0 down to level the match at 2-2 with a Sam Wood own goal and a header from Ryan Cresswell four minutes from the end of normal time, but then gave it away.
All three of Wycombe’s goals were totally avoidable with stronger defending, and conceding soft goals has been a recurring theme throughout this campaign, with the Cobblers letting in 62 goals in their 46 league games - six more than last season.
“That is probably the way we have been all season, and it’s not good enough,” admitted Horwood.
“We played some lovely football, but we have a soft underbelly that we need to sort out for next season.”
In the past few weeks alone, the Cobblers have thrown away points by conceding late goals against Stevenage, Oxford United and Wycombe, and it happened several times earlier in the campaign too.
Those goals have proved very costly as the Cobblers finished 12th in Sky Bet League Two, 10 points adrift of the play-off places, and Horwood admits their defensive weakness is a mystery to the players.
“What happened on Saturday has happened far too many times, and we can’t really put our finger on what it is,” said the former Tranmere Rovers man.
“It has been mentioned a lot in the past couple of months, and it’s something that we want to rectify, and is something the gaffer has been drilling into us.
“We won’t have that next season, or we’ll be out of a job simple as that.
“We do play some lovely football, but then we concede three goals and that can’t be right.”