Northampton boss Stuart Gray bemoaned his side's first-half performance during the damaging 4-3 home defeat to fellow strugglers Swindon.
A hat-trick from Simon Cox - who spent a successful spell on loan with the Cobblers in 2007 - gave the Robins all three points to leave Gray's side back in relegation trouble.
Gray said: "We lacked commitment and desire in the first half, players have to make decisions and we made all the wrong ones in the first half."
He added: "All credit to the players for having a go in the second half but the game was lost in that first period. The performance wasn't acceptable and I need players to fight for the cause.
"It's still in our hands but if we produce another first-half performance like that then we'll be in the relegation zone.
"You don't expect to concede four goals at home and we made Swindon look very good.
"We threw away a great opportunity to put space between ourselves and the other teams."
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