A sickness bug that swept through the Blackburn Rovers camp this week was partly to blame for their below-par performance in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with the Cobblers, according to manager Tony Mowbray.
Rovers were bidding for a seventh successive league win at Sixfields but in the end they were thankful for a point after Sam Foley’s close-range effort had the Cobblers deservedly ahead at half-time.
Bradley Dack’s crisp low finish brought Blackburn level shortly after the break before Craig Conway and Marcus Antonsson missed excellent late chances to take all three points back to Ewood Park, the latter denied from the penalty spot by Town goalkeeper David Cornell.
Rovers, who had scored 15 goals in their five previous away games, lost ground on the top two as a consequence and now sit seven points adrift of Sky Bet League One leaders Wigan Athletic, three behind second-placed Shrewsbury.
“I’m disappointed to only take a point,” said boss Mowbray afterwards. “We just couldn’t get to our usual intensity or levels.
“I don’t want to make excuses or a deal of things but I do believe illness in the camp was a reason for our lack of energy.
“Craig’s apologised for missing the chance just before Marcus saw his penalty saved. Marcus felt confident and unfortunately missed his kick. We haven’t played as poorly as that for a very long time.”
Mowbray was visibly disappointed not to come away from Sixfields with three points but the former Celtic manager did give credit to the Cobblers, who dropped back into the relegation zone despite the point.
“You have to give credit to Northampton,” he added. “They were a physical threat and worked extremely hard for their manager.
“We’re left frustrated to only take the point home with us. We have to get on with it. We did enough to take the points but didn’t take our chances.
“It was an opportunity for us to keep things rolling on but it wasn’t to be. There are still plenty of games to come for us.”