Alan Knill felt the Cobblers looked more like a team from the top end of the Sky Bet League Two table than a struggling one during their 1-1 draw with Southend United at Sixfields.
Town stopped the rot of five consecutive losses when Lawson D’Ath’s fifth goal of the season cancelled out Shaquile Coulthirst’s effort for the Blues in an entertaining contest.
As a result, Northampton move a point further away from the relegation places, although that is because Tranmere Rovers were in FA Cup action against Swansea City.
Assistant manager Knill, however, felt the side showed qualities more in keeping with the division’s better teams than those with whom they currently share the lower reaches.
“I thought we were excellent, especially after recent performances, and it was a step in the right direction,” said Knill, who sent out a team which gave a debut to all three of the club’s new loan signings.
“Everyone contributed and our on-loan players all did very well for us. They’ve come in at a late stage and helped us but it’s an opportunity for them to show what they can do as well.
“We knew what sort of characters they are and we know what they can do for us.
“From back to front we were very good. Southend are a very good side but I didn’t think we looked too far behind them today.
“I felt we looked more like a side at the top end of the table today but we need to put in more performances like this one and get ourselves up the league.
“After five defeats there has been a lot of talking within the club but the only way to answer that is out on the pitch. We had everything you need to get a result today and it’s not often you draw and get a standing ovation from the fans.”