A “hugely frustrated” Jon Brady apologised to Northampton fans after his side were beaten 1-0 at home to Crewe on Saturday.
The Cobblers were bidding to make it three home wins in a row but slumped to a disappointing defeat after their worst performance under Brady.
The hosts did not manage a single shot on target and were ultimately defeated by Owen Dale’s goal 16 minutes from time, which kept them in the League One relegation zone.
“It was hugely frustrating,” admitted Brady. “First and foremost, I apologise to our fans and to anyone who watched that on iFollow
“When we played Burton, in my first game, we only had two days to prepare and yet we still played a lot more football in that game than we did today.
“Yes, it was a real dogfight out there today, but there are times when you’ve got to win the battle and then you get the time and space to play on top of that.
“I was hugely disappointed by our decision-making today. When you first saw us play, we would get it down and move the ball quickly but there were only brief glimpses when we got the ball down and played today.
“That’s not us and that’s not what we want. We need to be braver on the ball. Under my leadership, we don’t want to just kick balls aimlessly up the pitch and play like that, so I apologise.
“I will keep working hard to get it right with these players.”
Crewe manager David Artell admitted his side had been forced to ditch their usual style of play.
He said: “I think it was a job well done. The performance was far better than against Burton last week.
“It was attritional on probably the worst pitch we’ve played on. It was very tricky but we knew that and we planned for it.
“We knew it would be in no fit state and it would be about second balls and that was a side of the game we didn’t do very well last week.
“But I know when the boys put their minds to it they can do it, as we showed today.
“We had to change our style because if you don’t, you can look foolish. I have a strong philosophy but, at the same time, winning games is important.
“It’s not about throwing your philosophy out the window, it’s about doing the right thing at the right time and I get judged on winning football matches. It was attritional and it wasn’t the best quality but it was far superior than anything last week.
“They got in behind us once and the lad fluffed his lines. We got in behind them twice and we scored one and I think we were the better team and deserved to win.”