Danny Schofield on frustration from Doncaster Rovers fans, Jonathan Mitchell and the issue of confidence after another worrying loss
Rovers were the architects of their own downfall with a second-minute opener from Mitch Pinnock creeping under fit-again home keeper Jonathan Mitchell, who then had a horror moment in the 52nd minute to gift another goal and three points to the Cobblers.
Against one of his former clubs, Mitchell - back after a shoulder issue - saw his pass out from the back hit Northampton top-scorer Sam Hoskins and he seized onto the loose ball to convert.
It was a day when Rovers’ inability to create chances continued. They posted just two efforts on target and have now won just once in their past eight League Two matches.
Jeers were prevalent both at half-time and the final whistle among understandably agitated Rovers followers.
Schofield, who saw a bad day compounded by injuries to Caolan Lavery and James Brown, said: “Of course, I sympathise with the fans and take the criticism along with my players to put better performances in (our) attack. Two shots on target - we need to create more opportunities.
“I was disappointed to concede the goals with errors and I can understand the fans’ frustrations.
“I have to be strong enough to take that criticism but also prepare the team to perform in the next game.
“It’s a difficult one to take. We ultimately lost the game on two mistakes and that’s football.
“It’s hard to take when you make so many errors.
“The first goal was not just down to Mitch. It was down to our organisation, we did not press the ball on the edge of the box and the ball came through bodies.
“At the start of the second half, we were in the ascendancy and created chances and the second goal was a mistake in trying to pay out from the back and the game was tough to get back into.
“He trained Thursday and Friday and he trained with good intensity to make sure we’d get him ready and he declared himself fit.”
On Rovers damning recent inability to muster shots on target, he continued: “It’s something we need to improve on and are aware of. It is something we will focus on next week. The league table does not lie and we are there for a reason.
“Everyone needs to reflect on this and work hard. We have eight games now to give everything to get those improvements in place.”
Despite his side’s unconvincing efforts, Schofield insists that confidence is not an issue in their recent poor spell.
He added: “I don’t think so. I said to the players that when we leave the stadium tonight, I want to see players who have given everything on the pitch and shown courage to get on the ball. When you lose a game, it is probably easy to say there’s a lack of confidence, but I think there’s confidence there.
“We speak about it all the time and it’s something I try and pride myself on in terms of instilling that into players and I probably was a player who suffered with that in my career. So my first focus is can we get players’ confidence up.”