Chris Wilder offered no excuses for the Cobblers’ 2-0 defeat at Portsmouth, which capped a ‘terrible couple of days’ for the club.
The defeat was a first of the season for Town but came after a difficult Monday, in which training was abandoned due to a serious injury to midfielder Ian Morris.
Morris, who was in the planned team to play at Fratton Park, dislocated his knee and is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
Wilder was not sure how much that had affected his players, who he felt were well beaten by a strong and in-form Pompey side.
“We were deservedly beaten in this game and it’s been a terrible couple of days for us really,” he said.
“For the first 25 minutes we gave as good as we got, there wasn’t anything in the game and then we came out the wrong end of a tackle on the other side and they broke through and scored.
“They’ve got a great crowd here and when things are going well they really get behind them.
“It’s a great squad Andy (Awford) has put together here and they’ve got players not even in their 18 who are league two quality and above.
“We were a bit better in the second half but the game was done really, even though we had a couple of half-chances that could have got us back in the game.”
Losing Morris will be a significant blow to the Cobblers, who are also without Darren Carter for the next fortnight with a hamstring strain.
John-Joe O’Toole lined up alongside Ricky Ravenhill in the middle of the park and although he did well, Wilder felt there may have been a psychological impact on the squad as a result of Morris’ serious injury.
“I don’t know whether that’s affected the boys,” he said.
“It was a really bad moment, we had to abandon training and that affected our preparation slightly.
“I’ve never seen anything like that before on the training ground, his full weight went through his knee as he landed and he twisted it horribly.
“He’s a really popular boy and he’s going for a scan but we’re expecting him to be out for the season.
“Maybe that shook us up a little bit as well.”