Northants 'will be back' if relegated, says chief executive

Northants' Ben Duckett is removed by Lancashire
Northants managed totals of just 180 and 270 against Lancashire

Northants chief executive David Smith believes the club will bounce back quickly if they suffer relegation in the Championship this season.

They are winless and bottom of Division One after seven defeats in a row.

"It's certainly going to be a huge challenge to avoid going down," Smith told BBC Radio Northampton.

"But we'll reset our goals, if that is the case, and I am comfortable we will be back up in two years better for the experience."

Northants, promoted from Division Two last year, lost by an innings and 200 runs to Lancashire on Wednesday, their fifth Championship defeat by an innings this season.

Northants' nightmare run
Yorkshire (a): Lost by an innings & 120 runs
Lancashire (h): Lost by 60 runs
Notts (a): Lost by an innings & 10 runs
Middlesex (h): Lost by an innings & 84 runs
Yorkshire (h): Lost by 271 runs
Warwickshire (h): Lost by an innings & 105 runs
Lancashire (a): Lost by an innings & 200 runs

They have lost every match since drawing their opening fixture against Durham and are 70 points adrift of third-bottom Sussex, although they have two games in hand.

"Clearly it's been very difficult, we haven't bridged the gap between Division Two and Division One," said Smith, who scored 8,734 first-class runs for Warwickshire between 1973 and 1985.

"There is quite a significant gap and we just haven't been up to it in the first half of the season.

"We've got to keep going, and all the things people will say in sport. It's certainly been really, really tough.

"We've learned a lot from it and I think we'll come back a lot stronger for the experience."

Northants have the prospect of New Zealand seamer Neil Wagner arriving for the final five games of the Championship campaign and are still able to reach the knockout stage of the T20 Blast.

"We have been steamrollered and we need to recognise that," Smith added.

"It's not the fact the guys haven't been trying and there are certain signs that areas of the game have been better.

"There are things slowly coming together, but overall we have to play better cricket."

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