Northamptonshire head coach David Ripley is determined to remain positive despite seeing his side lose for the 10th time in 12 LV= County Championship games.
A five-wicket defeat to Nottinghamshire - Alex Hales’ unbeaten 102 steering the visitors to a five-wicket triumph on day four at the County Ground - keeps the County firmly rooted to the foot of the Division One table and makes their relegation a near certainty with four rounds of matches to go.
And Ripley was glad to see his charges put up a good fight over the duration of the contest.
He said: “Over the four days it reminded me of the Somerset game where we were competitive over a number of those days, winning at least two, but on the one that we lost Notts made significant strides in getting away from us.
“We’ve played against one of the best teams in the country over four days and we’ve got a lot to be positive about.
“In the Championship, our last two games have been good, competitive games of cricket, no getting hammered by an innings and we’ve had chances to win.”
“I don’t want it to be glorified failures, but anyone would see that it’s been a competitive four-day match and we’ve just come marginally second.”
One of the positive factors was the appearance of new overseas man Neil Wagner.
Although match figures of 2-177 suggest a debut to forget, the New Zealand seamer showed Ripley enough to suggest that he can be a force for his new employers.
“He’s been busting a gut to get here, he’s been full of enthusiasm and energy in the field,” said the County coach.
“He bowled rustily first up in the first innings and he was disappointed with that, but there were signs in the second dig where he found his lengths.
“He bowled over the wicket and swung it and round the wicket and attacked the stumps and at a decent pace.
“He’s a bundle of energy who would run through a brick wall for you, and he’ll improve the more he plays for us.”