Northampton manager Chris Wilder praised his side's work rate as the runaway leaders of League Two crushed play-off hopefuls Carlisle 4-1.

Chris Wilder revels in Northampton's emphatic win at Carlisle

Chris Wilder revels in Northampton's emphatic win at Carlisle

Cobblers made it 13 league games without defeat and even Carlisle's most devoted fans were forced to applaud the visitors at the end of another convincing display of slick attacking football.

Wilder said: "I appreciate what the home fans did and it's happened at a couple of grounds recently. It's nice that people can acknowledge the form we have shown and the football we play.

"Fair play to them, and it's a good feeling which I appreciate. Sometimes people can be a bit bitter when you take the points so it was decent of the Carlisle crowd."

The win left Town 13 points clear at the top and 21 points ahead of fourth-placed Accrington.

Wilder had called on his team for a big effort and he said: "To win 4-1 away from home in any division is good going and we have worked hard for it.

"At times it wasn't exactly what we are about, but we beat the opposition pretty comfortably in the end. It is a tough division and we have got to make sure we don't listen to what is being said about us and get our heads down and work extremely hard.

"At times our work rate was incredible. We have scored four goals away from home so I can't ask for much more. These players are giving each other work rate and commitment and we just keep rolling out the wins and the goals. We have scored the most goals in the league and the most wins, and we've worked extremely hard for it.

"You don't get handed these wins and performances just by turning up and we are happy we've come and comfortably won this game 4-1."

On-loan Millwall striker John Marquis headed home to give the visitors the lead while John-Joe O'Toole notched goals either side of half-time.

Although Hallam Hope, a second-half substitute, scored with his first touch for Carlisle, Collins whipped home a clinching fourth for Northampton in the 74th minute.

Carlisle manager Keith Curle said: "There's no disgrace in losing to the runaway league leaders, but the manner of our defeat was disappointing.

"The players know I am not happy with the performance and they weren't happy with the performance either. We didn't do the basics and the goals we conceded were soft. They got their goals at the right time. A couple where deflections went for them whereas our deflections went wide.

"Northampton have good players and played with confidence. Our defence looked fragile and they had game changers. Their forwards gave them a platform, but we made it difficult for ourselves."

The Carlisle manager added: "We started well and if we had taken our chances it could have been a different game, but it shows how far we need to improve."

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