Boss Dean Austin says he did not feel let down by his Cobblers players in Tuesday night’s 1-0 defeat at Morecambe, and insists there was no complacency in his squad.
The Town manager said in the immediate aftermath of the loss at the Globe Arena that his team had been ‘out-fought and out-worked’ by their hosts.
I am not going to say anything else though, because talk is cheap and we have to get out on the field and do itCobblers boss Dean Austin
As he faced the media ahead of Saturday’s trip to unbeaten Colchester United, Austin wasn’t backtracking on that assessment, but defended the attitude and mentality of his players who he feels simply had ‘a bad day at the office’.
Asked if he felt let down by his players after they slumped to defeat against a team had lost its first three league two matches of the season, Austin said: “No, because they don’t go out and do it on purpose, ever.
“I have a brilliant set of lads and they know that I love them, but I feel the pain more than anybody when I don’t get what I want, because I am used to winning.
“I didn’t get where I got in my career through bundles of ability, I got where I got in my career because I had a set, and the other night we didn’t show enough.
“I feel we have been very, very good (this season so far). We have had half a game in football in five where we haven’t done the prerequisites of football in Dean Austin’s world.
“That is to turn up and give everything, and that means one of our first defensive principles is pressing from the front.”
So, did complacency play a part in the below-par performance?
“I am not going to say there was complacency as I don’t allow that,” said the Cobblers boss.
“Maybe it was a little bit about us seeing the statistics that we had had more shots in league two than any other team before Tuesday night’s game.
“The players had seen the statistics that we had had 60 shots, but with only a 7.5 per cent conversion rate.
“We had also dominated possession, dominated the ball in the homes games we have had, with the games at Carlisle and Wycombe being pretty even.
“So I do wonder if we got a bit where we thought we were better than what we are.
“Maybe that is the case, who knows? But I think it is a combination of things and I have said to the guys that there is having a bad day at the office, everybody does that no matter what job we do.
“But what I won’t have is where we don’t have the effort and intensity that we require, and our fans deserve better than Tuesday night.”
Austin is well aware the supporters who travelled to the north west coast were not happy with the team’s performance, and he accepts it wasn’t good enough.
And he knows that the time has come for his team to start producing the goods where it matters, out on the pitch.
“You can keep saying the same things, but talk is cheap and you have to get out and do it don’t you?,” said Austin.
“My message would be that I am sorry for the other night, and I am sorry that they travelled all that way to witness it, but that is football sometimes.
“I am not going to say anything else though, because talk is cheap and we have to get out on the field and do it.”