Despondent Crooks rues his missed chances and says he understands fans’ frustration

DOWNBEAT: Matt Crooks hangs his head after missing a chance against Bury. Pictures: Sharon Lucey
DOWNBEAT: Matt Crooks hangs his head after missing a chance against Bury. Pictures: Sharon Lucey

Cobblers midfielder Matt Crooks says he understands why fans are growing increasingly frustrated by the team’s poor form this season following Saturday’s goalless draw with Bury.

Crooks cut a visibly distraught and exasperated figure both during and after Town’s clash with the rock-bottom Shakers as he missed several presentable chances to earn his side three valuable points.

The 23-year-old blazed over from an acute angle in the first-half before side-footing Brendan Moloney’s cross wide midway through the second.

Marc Richards also threatened on two occasions while Bury’s best chances fell to Rohan Ince, who first forced a sharp reaction save from Cobblers goalkeeper Matt Ingram before being brilliantly denied by Leon Barnett’s sliding challenge.

In the end, the point did neither team much good with both still languishing in the Sky Bet League One relegation zone.

“I think we definitely should have won,” bemoaned Crooks afterwards. “I spoke about taking my chances last time and I haven’t done it again.

As a team, I think we played much better than we did on Tuesday and we’ve got to keep doing that because we will create chances and we will take them at some point.

“I’ve just got to keep getting in there and trying to take them. As a team, I think we played much better than we did on Tuesday and we’ve got to keep doing that because we will create chances and we will take them at some point.

“Personally, I don’t feel like I’m nervous when the ball’s coming. I’m just not taking them – it’s not in my head that I’m worried I’m going to miss, at this moment in time they’re not going in when they really should be.”

One of the clearest opportunities in Saturday’s game fell Crooks’ way in the second-half when Moloney’s cross landed at his feet but, unmarked from eight yards out, he skewed his first-time volley off target.

“I was a little bit surprised it came to me but I can’t make any excuses,” added Crooks. “I’ve watched it again and I just shanked it really, I should have put my foot through it or taken a touch. It should have gone into the back of the net but it didn’t.

“It’s frustrating but we’ve just got to get on with it and try to put it right next time.”

The full-time whistle on Saturday was greeted by a smattering of boos by disgruntled home supporters who watched their side failed to win at Sixfields for the seventh time in 10 games this season.

With manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink perplexed by those boos in his post-match interview, Crooks also had his say, adding: “Obviously I can hear the booing and I think everyone can.

“We want to win football games, it’s as simple as that, and I understand the frustration of the supporters.

“We’re in a run of games at the minute where we’re not winning, especially against the bottom side, but I think we showed a better performance on Saturday and, as a club, we’ve got to work together – fans, staff, people behind the scenes and players.

“So I understand the frustration but we’ve got to stay positive and look forward to the next game.”