Cobblers boss Chris Wilder felt his side’s recent form was the direct cause of their late nerves in the win over Stevenage at Sixfields.
Town ended a three-game losing streak with a 1-0 win against Graham Westley’s side, secured through Marc Richards’ ninth goal of the season.
The victory puts Northampton 14th in Sky Bet League Two and six points off the play-offs but Stevenage had late chances to take something from the game as the home side endured a nervous finish.
“We sat too deep in the second half and that’s not the way to see a game out,” he said. “But you also see that happen at the top level when teams are holding a one goal lead, especially when you are not winning games regularly.
“A second goal would have settled everybody’s nerves and Marc (Richards) has missed a great chance in the first half. It will take him a few games to get back his sharpness but we’ve missed him because he’s one of the top strikers in this division. It was a great finish from him.
“We went through a period of games when we played okay and didn’t get a result and today we played okay and got the result. You can’t rely on three or four players performing, today we had that happening all over the pitch.
“It’s all about all the players playing to a good level in every game, for 60-70 minutes today we did that. Stevenage had nothing to lose near the end so they went for it but we were strong at the back.
“I know Stevenage had a game on Thursday but that’s our fifth game in 15 days so I’m delighted to get the right result.”