Forest Green manager Mark Cooper will be on the hunt for a ruthless striker in the January transfer window after lamenting the wasteful finishing on display from his misfiring side in defeat to Northampton.
Rovers have only one win in eight games after Sam Hoskins’ scrappy goal late in the first half proved the difference between the two promotion contenders.
Cooper’s side hit the woodwork three times during the game and also saw another good chance go to waste when David Cornell denied Jack Aitchison.
“It wasn’t a tight game, it was a one-sided game in my opinion, certainly in the second half,” said Cooper.
“But you can’t miss as many chances as we did and expect to win.
“We got in the right positions, we had brilliant chances and we hit their woodwork three times and players have to score when they get into those positions.
“The second-half performance was all one direction but you have to score. You can’t lose that game because we had so much of the ball and so many chances but I’ve said to the players that I have to get things right in January and get players in that are ruthless.
“We don’t have that at the moment because we’ve scored 24 goals in the league this season and we were all-out attack in the second half today.
“It’s OK when the pressure’s not on in training but you’ve got to do it when it means everything and when you can get a point for your side and maybe go on and win the game.
“They couldn’t get out because we had all of the ball but it doesn’t make any difference because they’ve ended up with one goal and we haven’t got any.
“To have that much possession and that many chances doesn’t make sense. Common sense will tell you there’s an issue, which is we haven’t got people to put the ball in the back of the net.
“I thought we deserved to win the game today but now we’ve got to make sure we get it right in January at the top end of the pitch.”
Opposite number Keith Curle admitted his side needed to make it a scruffy game as the Cobblers got back to winning ways.
“We had a gameplan and we set ourselves up to be an ugly team to play against,” he said.
“That’s sometimes not ideal, especially at home because you’re the home team and you’d like to go out and express yourself and play free-flowing, entertaining, attacking football.
“But we were respectful of the opposition we were playing against today and we needed to make it a scruffy encounter because I think our players can play scruffy football.
“That’s not being detrimental and it’s not to say we can’t play against other teams that want to pass it but our gameplan was to spoil the game because we knew we could be a physical presence from set-pieces.
“We had good willingness, good desire and good endeavour to stop them from playing.”
Northampton, who remain seventh, have won their last six games at Sixfields and now own the best home record in League Two.
Curle added: “It’s not only achieved by our performances but also the supporters are playing their part and there’s a belief and a noise from the stands and I think that’s helping to inspire the players.
“It gives them that an extra yard and extra belief and that’s fantastic.
“The supporters are now developing a bond with the players and I think that’s vital at a football club because you want to be recognised and you want that association and you want to be praised from fans and we’re getting that now.
“My relationship with the supporters is building and I’m building that trust.”