Chris Wilder admitted he wanted Saturday’s game at Southend to be ‘ugly’ and says his Cobblers side must rediscover how to grind out away-day victories.
Town were beaten 2-0 at Roots Hall to record their sixth consecutive defeat on the road, with Barry Corr scoring a penalty after a Jordan Archer foul for which the goalkeeper was also sent off.
David Worrall scored a second to put the seal on a result which leaves Northampton 15th in the Sky Bet League Two table.
Wilder had lined his team up with four central midfielders in it and said he wanted to make the game an ugly one in which goalscoring chances were in short supply.
“Our away form hasn’t been good so we had to try to do something a little bit different and I think if we walk away with a point from a tight game then we’re absolutely delighted,” he said.
“We’re not having enough of those ground-out results. In the early part of the season we were getting those at Morecambe and Dagenham.
“So I wanted an ugly game, I wanted a bit of a grind and I knew that we had players who could score goals and cause problems if they got the opportunity.
“Langers (Kelvin Langmead) should score his chance so it wasn’t a backs-to-the-wall performance against a team who are in the top five of the division.”
Wilder also felt the timing of Southend’s first goal, which came after Northampton had made a reasonably bright start to the second half, was costly.
“I’m not saying we had them on the back foot but they weren’t putting us under any pressure at that time,” he said.
“Off the back of the mistake we were chasing it and it’s a disappointing one for Jordan because he hasn’t had a lot to do in the game.”