Cobblers defender Ryan Cresswell felt Tuesday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat to Millwall was a missed opportunity after believing the League One side were “there for the taking”.
Northampton dominated possession for much of a scrappy and disjointed game but they lacked any end product as two late goals from Aiden O’Brien and Lee Gregory secured Millwall’s route through to the area quarter-finals.
“There wasn’t really much in the game,” Cresswell said afterwards. “I think if we could have upped the tempo a little bit and put a bit more pressure on their defenders we could have come away with something.
“Overall I thought we were quite disappointing in terms of moving forward and getting in and around their back lads.
“I thought they were there for the taking and we sensed a real opportunity but we didn’t take it and that’s disappointing but we can’t dwell on it.
“We have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and get ready for a big game on Saturday.”
It was a subdued exit from the competition for the Cobblers in a game that took place in front of just 2,254 fans in a 20,000 capacity stadium.
That made for a eerie atmosphere inside the Den, with Cresswell adding: “You just have to block it out of your mind.
“You have to make your own tempo, play your own game and that’ll see you through. At times I thought we were a bit too slow and a bit too static when moving the ball and that’s not like us.
“We were really moving the ball well on Saturday with players getting into good positions but tonight we didn’t do that. Neither team had many chances and in the end it’s disappointing to lose.”
Attentions now turn back to the league and the visit of Hartlepool on Saturday.
“The league is the main aim. We need to re-focus and get back on the training ground on Thursday and really look forward to the game on Saturday,” added Cresswell.
“We’re in good form in the league so we need to be ready and be at it and put a performance together that can get us a win.”