Cobblers must ‘manage games better’ to join play-off race

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Captain David Buchanan says the Cobblers must become more adept at managing games in their bid to climb the table and move closer to the play-offs this season.

Northampton have seen four points slip away from their last two home games against Stevenage and Grimsby, both of whom scored in the last 15 minutes to leave home supporters frustrated.

We’ve got to put a two, three, four game winning run together if we want to be near the play-offs, and that’s where we want to be.

Failure to win either of those games could well come back to haunt the Cobblers at the end of the season as they attempt to make up for a slow start and chase down the top seven.

One game shy of the halfway mark, Keith Curle’s side are seven points adrift of Exeter City who occupy the final play-off position.

With a flurry of games on the horizon, anything other than a strong points return over Christmas may well put paid to their hopes of returning to League One at the first attempt.

“It’s always frustrating when you’re in front and get pegged back, especially in those circumstances when it’s a mistake,” said Buchanan on the draw with Stevenage.

“But everyone will make mistakes over the course of a season and we’ve been doing really well at home lately.

“We’ve been in front the last two games and these are the type of matches that we have to dig in and see it out, like we did at Crawley. We have to manage games better.

“We’ve got to put a two, three, four game winning run together if we want to be near the play-offs, and that’s where we want to be.

“We’ll have to take the point and move on but it’s frustrating because, for me, it should have been three points and another clean sheet.”