The feeble manner of Northampton’s performance in their heavy defeat to Oldham Athletic on Saturday made it a tough result to take for defender Ash Taylor, who admitted he and his team-mates were left ‘hurting’ by the 5-1 loss.
Northampton’s winless streak reached six games in all competitions when they were dismantled by the Latics, one of Town’s supposed rivals for relegation.
Oldham went into the game placed 18th and only four points above the Cobblers but Jack Byrne’s fourth-minute screamer set the tone for a dismal afternoon in Greater Manchester.
Tope Obadeyi headed in a second and Byrne’s deflected effort made it three before half-time and whilst Sam Foley netted one goal back for an improved Northampton early in the second period, Gevaro Nepomuceno and Craig Davies condemned the visitors to an abject defeat.
There was no disguising Taylor’s pain afterwards with the defender at a loss to explain such an inept display from his side.
“I’m just really disappointed,” he said. “To concede any goal as a defender is not something I take much joy out of but to let five in is very disappointing and I’m hurt by it.
To concede any goal as a defender is not something I take much joy out of but to let five in is very disappointing and I’m hurt by it. I don’t know what to say to be honest. It was a very disappointing performanceCobblers defender Ash Taylor
“I don’t know what to say to be honest. It was a very disappointing performance.
“The players and the squad we’ve got is outstanding, but at the moment we can’t put our finger on what’s wrong.
“We just need to stick together in this tough period and try to have a positive week this week.
“We need to put Saturday’s game behind us as quickly as we can and go into the next game with a positive mindset.”
The loss at Boundary Park leaves Northampton second from bottom in Sky Bet League One and even though they’re only one point from safety, it will take a drastic improvement for them to get out of trouble.
That is easier said than done, especially given the low confidence within the squad and also their tricky schedule over the busy Christmas period.
Taylor added: “To a point (confidence is low) but we’re all experienced enough and go through tough times.
“I’ve had some of them and I can take my experience and try and help the lads get through it.
“All the lads are hurting after that performance but we’ve got to regroup and stick together. We’re a good bunch of lads and we’re positive so I’m sure we can turn this round.”
Even Taylor, often so composed and measured, lost his rag during Saturday’s game when venting his frustration at referee Graham Salisbury’s decision to award a goal-kick to Oldham instead of a corner the other way, with his furious protests leading to only his second yellow card of the season.
“It was a corner,” he said. “I thought my header was going in but the defender got a touch on it.
“The referee came up to me in the second-half and admitted he got it wrong.
“I consider myself quite composed but at times, when things aren’t going right for me, I tend to have another side to me but I don’t think that’s a bad thing.”
More than 300 Cobblers fans braved the freezing temperatures and heavy snow to make the long trip up to Oldham on Saturday, and Taylor hopes they can keep supporting the team in these difficult times.
He continued: “The travelling fans on Saturday were fantastic, they didn’t stop and we need them to stay behind us and keep pushing us on.
“The home games are massive for us and hopefully we can start putting the points on the board that we need.”