Chris Wilder said he was not embarrassed by the Cobblers’ performance against Oxford United as they registered a third straight defeat.
Town were sunk 3-1 at Sixfields by Wilder’s former club, for whom Danny Hylton scored twice and Alfie Potter added a third.
The loss leaves Northampton 16th in Sky Bet League Two with a difficult game at Luton Town next on the schedule, but Wilder was largely pleased with the application of his side against the Us.
“We’ve lost three games on the bounce so I’m not happy but I wasn’t embarrassed by our performance,” said Wilder, who lost Chris Hackett to a back injury prior to the game..
“I personally didn’t think there was a lot in the game - Lawson (D’Ath) had a good chance to score right after half-time and Ivan’s header should be a goal for us really.
“That would have got us back into it and even in the last five minutes we had two good opportunities to score.
“I wasn’t embarrassed tonight at all. The team kept going right to the end and we’re just lacking a bit of confidence but that happens when you haven’t won for a few games.”
Town led against Oxford after only four minutes, with left-back Enda Stevens scoring his first goal on loan from Aston Villa with a clinical finish from John-Joe O’Toole’s pass.
But Hylton scored twice in 90 first-half seconds and an individual effort from Potter put the seal on the victory.
“We made a good start and Andy Whing has made an incredible block when the score was 1-1 to keep it that way,” he said.
“Then it was an even contest, we both looked dangerous in attack but we gave the ball away in a poor position and they broke on us.
“They scored a soft goal and then Alfie Potter started doing what he can do. He gave Danny (Alfei) a hard time, won the penalty and when that goes in the sway of the game changes completely.
“I know all about Alfie Potter because I signed him for Oxford from Peterborough and he is capable of doing the sort of things he did in this game.”