Knill confident Cobblers will still secure safety

AGONY - Kelvin Langmead shows his frustration as a late chance goes begging against Portsmouth (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
AGONY - Kelvin Langmead shows his frustration as a late chance goes begging against Portsmouth (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Assistant manager Alan Knill is confident the Cobblers will remain in the Football League if they can replicate the level of performance they showed against Portsmouth.

Town lost 1-0 to Pompey, whose safety was ensured by Bristol Rovers’ loss to Rochdale earlier in the day, when former Sixfields loanee Danny East scored after four minutes.

It means Northampton remain in the Sky Bet League Two bottom two, level on 47 points with Wycombe and Rovers, who play at Adams Park this weekend.

Just two games remain left to play - Saturday’s trip to Dagenham & Redbridge and the final-day visit of Oxford United to Sixfields - and Knill is confident the team can take points from both of those games if they play like they did against Pompey.

“We’ve done everything in that game and I have to say I thought our performance was outstanding,” said Knill.

“We’re always disappointed to lose but if you’re going to lose then that’s how you should do it, you should keep going.

“They (Portsmouth) are the form team in the division and we’ve come away from that match disappointed that we haven’t got anything from them.

“It was a bad goal to concede; it made things difficult for us after that and we seem to be doing that more at home than we are away from home.

“You give the opposition something to cling on to when you do that and that’s exactly what Portsmouth did. We played some good football and had some chances but it just wouldn’t go for us.

“I’m confident that if we play like that in our next two games, we’ll stay up.”

Town created lots of goalscoring opportunities against Portsmouth but drew a blank as their lack of a proven striker again cost them dearly.

Emile Sinclair should have headed home a first-half cross but failed to make any contact with the ball at the back post, and was substituted off during the interval.

“We wanted him to get his head on that, even if it is just the slightest contact,” said Knill of the effort.

“We haven’t spoken to Emile about it and something might have happened but we were expecting that to go in the back of the net.

“We had a lot of near chances and near misses and we just needed to get a good connection on one of those.”