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Changes pay off for Northampton Town boss Chris Wilder

4 January 2015

Northampton Town manager Chris Wilder rang the changes after five straight defeats and saw his side pick up a much-needed point in a 1-1 draw with Play-Off chasing Southend United.

Shaquile Coulthirst gave Southend the second half lead with his third goal of the campaign but Lawson D'Ath equalised.

And Southend had the better chances to win it despite the late dismissal of Luke Prosser for a second caution.

Wilder gave debuts to three loanees and that paid off as Cobblers fought back to earn a point.

After seeing Northampton end their five-match losing sequence, assistant manager Alan Knill said: "I thought we were excellent, especially after recent performances, and it was a step in the right direction.

"Everyone contributed and our on-loan players all did very well for us. They've come in at a late stage and helped us but it's an opportunity for them to show what they can do as well.

"We knew what sort of characters they are and we know what they can do for us.

"From back to front we were very good. Southend are a very good side but I didn't think we looked too far behind them.

"I felt we looked more like a side at the top end of the table but we need to put in more performances like this one and get ourselves up the league.

"After five defeats there has been a lot of talking within the club but the only way to answer that is out on the pitch. We had everything you need to get a result and it's not often you draw and get a standing ovation from the fans.

"It was a great game to watch and it could have gone either way. We were concerned when they went in front but credit to the players they got themselves back in it.

"That should the bar we need to reach each week and should drive us on for more performances like that. Only half the season has gone, now it's up to us to push on."

Knill reserved special praise for goal scorer D'Ath.

"Lawson is a real good lad, he's one of those players who just wants to play," he added. "He wasn't interested in the money side of things when we signed him, he just wanted to know how we were going to play him.

"He's done well enough to earn a longer contract, his performances have given us a lot more energy."

Southend had the better chances to win at Sixfields where, despite dropping two points, manager Phil Brown praised the groundstaff for getting the game on.

He said: "First and foremost I have to say congratulations to the groundstaff for getting the game on because it was pretty precarious an hour and a half before kick-off.

"We were just hoping and praying that the heavens didn't open and because they didn't we were rewarded with a really good game of football.

"It was blood and thunder, it was two teams going at it hammer and tongs and I thought after the [Ryan] Cresswell chance which hit the crossbar that we had seen off the Northampton danger.

"We took our chance and I felt one goal would be enough because we have kept clean sheets in our last three games and 1-0 is usually enough.

"We kept asking questions of them but I think you had two teams who wanted to play and who wanted to get at each other as well."

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