Knill insists Cobblers still need to find killer instinct despite win

Cobblers celebrate Marc Richards' late winner against Exeter (pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)
Cobblers celebrate Marc Richards' late winner against Exeter (pictures: Kirsty Edmonds)

Assistant manager Alan Knill felt the Cobblers should have made certain of their win over Exeter City long before Marc Richards’ late winner.

The striker netted with an overhead kick in the 89th minute to secure a 1-0 victory that means Northampton have taken eight points from their first five league matches.

Both wins have been by single-goal margins but Knill admitted the one over the Grecians came with the team playing well below the level of which they are capable.

After a bright first five minutes, Town failed to create any attacking play of note until the introduction of Ivan Toney, whose flick from a long Ben Tozer throw put the ball into Richards’ strike zone.

“We’ve got a habit of scoring goals right at the end and we would like it to be more comfortable but it’s about getting the result,” he said.

“That win gives us eight points for the month and considering the opposition that we’ve played, we think that’s quite a good return.

“Credit to the players, it was a tough game and to be honest we didn’t think we played anywhere near what we can play like in the first half.

“Exeter made it difficult for us but we have to overcome that and in the second half we took the game to them with our play.

“Really the game should have been over with the amount of chances we had before Rico (Marc Richards) scored that overhead kick.

“Our tempo and our belief need to be better. We looked a bit like we were waiting for something to happen rather than going and making it happen.”

The Cobblers lost Lee Collins to a hamstring injury early in Saturday’s game and Emile Sinclair was also taken off as a precaution after taking a kick on the ankle.

On the Collins injury, Knill said: “We think it’s a hamstring and we’ll have assess it.

“Emile has an ankle problem and again that’s one that we need to have a look at.

“It’s good that we don’t have a midweek game coming up because that will give us extra time to recover for the Dagenham game.”