Dean Austin held a meeting with his players in the lead up to Saturday’s game at Colchester United in an attempt to resolve the defensive ‘lapses’ which had cost them dear in previous matches.
Cobblers had paid the price for some poor defending prior to the weekend’s trip to Essex, drawing two and losing two of their opening four league matches to sit 21st in Sky Bet League Two.
The fans were absolutely unbelievable and I can’t thank them enough for the support they’ve given me personally. I just want to give them a team to be proud of.
Matt Green escaped his marker to nod home the only goal of the game against Lincoln on the opening weekend while, a week later, Carlisle United’s Hallam Hope was given too much space to equalise just 60 seconds after Town had taken the lead.
There were also mistakes against Morecambe and Cambridge United, prompting Austin to gather his players together last week in an effort to get to the bottom of the issue.
It seemed to have the desired effect too as his side produced a far more solid, almost error-free display against Colchester with Billy Waters and Matt Crooks on target in a 2-1 victory.
“We’ve had little lapses when we’ve conceded goals at silly times,” admitted Austin. “So we looked at footage from the Cambridge game and we looked at footage from the other night (Morecambe), but it’s not a meeting where I’m coming in ranting and raving.
“I’m just showing the boys certain things where we need to be switched on and making sure we’re managing the game properly.
“But there’s no problem with his group. I think Saturday was big for us but it’s one game and it’s three points – that’s all it is as far as I’m concerned.
“The players can enjoy their evening but my head is already on Tranmere and I’m thinking about next week.
“It’s the best feeling in the world when you have a performance like we did on Saturday and you get the result, but it’s a bad feeling when you have the performance and don’t get the result.
“It’s even worse when you don’t get the performance or the result so Saturday was a nice feeling and people went home happy, but my head is switched on to the next game.”
For the near 500 fans in attendance at the JobServe Community Stadium, the win provided some long overdue cheer after 12 months of constant turmoil.
Austin added: “The fans were absolutely unbelievable and I can’t thank them enough for the support they’ve given me personally.
“Obviously, in the position that I am, I’ve got the odd hater and I understand that and I understand the emotion but what players need to realise is that this is people’s life.
“When they come and watch their team play on a Saturday, it’s their life and it’s the thing they talk about on a Monday morning with their mates at work and I just want to give them a team to be proud of.”