Cobblers boss Keith Curle said his team didn't do the ugly side of the game well enough in the second half as he reflected on Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Walsall.
“Today was about doing the basics right and in the second half we didn’t do that,” he said.
“We allowed too many balls to come into our box and there was not enough desire to defend which is something we have been good at.
“We had a platform in place but you have to defend your box and we didn’t do the horrible side of the game which you need to do to get the job done.
“There were lots of positives in the first half, we created chances and even in the second half we had two or three good opportunities.
“Callum Morton did exceptionally well but I brought Vadaine Oliver on to give us a physical presence. We needed to try and make the ball stick.
“I’ve got angry and frustrated players in the changing room but they are honest and they know they didn’t do enough today. There is work to be done and we need to get back to doing the things that got us up the table.”