Chris Wilder criticised his Cobblers side for lacking cool heads as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Mansfield Town at Sixfields.
Town remain in the Sky Bet League Two relegation zone by a margin of two points after Darren Carter’s penalty cancelled out Oliver Palmer’s first-half goal in a poor-quality encounter.
The spot-kick was awarded for a handball against Stags right wing-back Darryl Westlake, who was sent off as a result, and meant the visitors had to play the final half an hour with 10 men.
But Northampton were unable to break them down and fashioned almost no goalscoring chances, with Chris Hackett blazing a volley high and wide in what was the home side’s best goalscoring opportunity.
“We can talk about missed chances but we’ve gifted them a goal,” he said. “We got done on one long ball and we should’ve dealt with that because that’s all they’re about and that’s all they did all day.
“Our quality around the final third was missing a little bit and we are disappointed with that.
“When we get into those areas we have to stay calm and get the message into the players that they have to be patient and play.
“We know we have to play more than we did today; sometimes we moved the ball quickly and we got into good areas and then there were other times when we took too many touches.
“This was a good chance for us to get a really good result today but with the other results we are a point nearer.”
The Mansfield camp were furious about the decision to award the penalty, with manager Paul Cox describing it as ‘cheap’ but the view of Wilder was considerably different.
“I can’t see why they have any argument with the decision - the lad handballed it on the line just as we were about to score,” he said.