Zander Diamond insists he and his team-mates are determined to right the wrongs of Saturday’s defeat to Brackley Town after the Cobblers defender admitted their performance ‘wasn’t acceptable’ as they were beaten 4-2 by the National League North outfit.
David Moyo, Alex Gudger and Matt Lowe all profited from some lackadaisical defending to get on the score sheet as Brackley earned a deserved victory and one which gives Diamond and his team-mates plenty to work on in the remaining three weeks of pre-season.
Northampton now face by far their sternest test of pre-season when Queens Park Rangers visit Sixfields on Tuesday evening (ko 7.30pm) in a game that should provide manager Rob Page with a more accurate yardstick to gauge where his side are at.
“We need to be sharper both physically and mentally,” said Diamond ahead of Tuesday’s clash.
“If we play anything like we did on Saturday we’ll get turned over but we’ve got a good group and we’re honest with ourselves and we know it wasn’t acceptable against Brackley.
“The best thing about football is that there’s another game around the corner and we’ll go again.
“We don’t like losing and that’s two on the trot, but we’ll try and rectify that in the coming weeks.”
Diamond was at a loss to explain just why the Cobblers were so off colour against Brackley, particularly after half-time when the non-league side dominated.
Prior to that, Northampton had at least threatened and went into the break level at 2-2 through goals from Alex Revell and Marc Richards, but the visitors created precious little in the second-half while Brackley remained a constant threat through the pace and strength of former Town striker Moyo.
Diamond added: “They were at it more than we were which is disappointing from our point of view.
“It wasn’t for a lack of effort. We’re a professional outfit and train full-time but it just didn’t happen for us on Saturday one way or another.
“We were sloppy in possession and conceded sloppy goals. To a man we all know we can play much better and once you admit that to yourself it’s a starting block to go and put it right.
“Brackley took their chances when they came along and forced us on the back foot so you have to give credit to them.
“We need to get back to the training ground because we have big games coming up against QPR and Wolves and if we play as we have done, they’ll be tough games.
“There’s still three weeks to go before the start of the season so we’ve got time to iron stuff out and hopefully by the time Fleetwood comes around we’ll produce much better.”
Several niggling injuries to key defenders hasn’t helped matters but Diamond was reluctant to use that as an excuse.
“It doesn’t help,” he conceded. “You want a bit of continuity and increase your minutes each game and then get 90 under your belt.
“I think some boys are playing more than they’re scheduled to do but there’s no point crying over that because that didn’t beat us on Saturday.
“We weren’t at it and it’s back to the training ground to rectify the things which went wrong.
“It’ll be good to go back to Sixfields. It’s always nice to be going back to your home ground and hopefully we’ll put on a good show because we’ve got to be better and hopefully we’ll get a decent result.”