Mark Cooper says it's time for Barrow AFC to stop "wasting" the opening spells of games.

The Bluebirds have conceded early goals in recent defeats to Mansfield Town and Newport County.

They will hope to stop the rot at Northampton Town tonight.

And manager Cooper says his fourth-bottom team will give themselves a better chance if they can cut out their sloppy starts.

Cooper, who could include the returning John Rooney for his second debut tonight, said: "I told the players [at Newport] that if we could play for 75 minutes the way we did in the second half, we won't have an issue.

"We can't have 15-20 minutes being really passive and sloppy, otherwise we'll cause ourselves problems.

"We've got to find a way of making sure we start games well."

Barrow have gone behind in the opening two minutes against both Mansfield and Newport in the current run of three straight defeats.

A better night at the Sixfields Stadium would give Cooper's men the chance of going ten points clear of the drop zone.

The manager, speaking about the crucial starting periods of games, told the BBC: "It's a difficult one for the staff to be able to coach.

"That's mentality - having a winning mentality to make sure your man doesn't score.

"You can't start a game like [we have been] and expect on the majority of times to come back from it.

"Football is 75 per cent mental. Don't waste 30 minutes of the game, 30 minutes of your life. You're not getting it back.

"It's got to be here, now and deal with what's in front of you. If you do that you'll be fine."

Cooper, meanwhile, said he was impressed with Aaron Amadi-Holloway's debut at Newport.

The big loan striker could make his second Barrow outing tonight.

"He held the ball up great, was a threat in the air and he'll really help us, I think," the manager added.