Charlie Goode - Northampton Town

New-look Northampton Town starting to gel under Keith Curle

KEITH Curle’s remoddled Northampton are starting to motor in League Two – now he wants the Cobblers to show the consistency needed for League Two success.

The former Carlisle boss took charge in October last year
with Northampton at a low ebb following relegation the previous season. The
56-year-old steadied the ship and helped them climb to 15th by the end of the
campaign.

Curle undertook a massive squad revamp in the summer, bringing in the likes of Bury winger Nicky Adams, 32, Luton midfielder Alan McCormack, 35, and Macclesfield striker Harry Smith, 24. Undertake a new route in your weekly betting stakes when you compare free bet no deposit sports bonuses on Betting Lounge.

After a stuttering start to the season, the Cobblers are
showing signs they will be in the promotion shake-up this term.

Last Saturday’s impressive 4-1 win against high-flying Crewe
at Sixfields saw Northampton move into the play-off positions and extended
their unbeaten run to six games in league and cup.

“The hardest thing is changing and creating a culture,” said
the former England international. “Change is all well and good, but it has to
be change for the better. The pleasing thing is that the players are buying
into what we’re trying to do.

“We’ve brought in new players and it’s about familiarising
them on the pitch and off the pitch, too. They’re in new surroundings and some
have moved into club houses. That takes a bit of time to settle into and you
have the emotion of winning, losing and drawing matches at the same time.
Different people react differently, but we have a common goal.

“Just because you don’t like the feeling when you lose, it
doesn’t make you a winner. It’s about the work during the week and we are
trying to get consistency in performance.

“The amount of injuries we had at the start of the season curtailed any real fluidity in our play – we had key players missing. After the start of the season, we also brought in new additions.”

Heading into last weekend’s home game against Grimsby, the Cobblers were seventh – but just five points behind leaders Swindon.

“I think it will be tight all year,” said Curle. “I don’t
think anyone will run away with it. It’s about gaining momentum and maintaining
momentum.

“You have to have the foundations and principles in place to
get results. We’re trying to establish a level of consistency – people
understand their levels, minimum, and have the licence to express themselves in
a team framework.”

Curle also wants his players to be more ruthless if they are
leading in games.

“We are where we are on merit,” said the former Manchester
City and Wolves defender. “On a few occasions we have been two-nil up and drawn
2-2. With another six points, we would have been very happy, but that’s what
this division is about – it’s fine margins.”

The Cobblers take a break from league action next weekend
when they entertain National League side Notts County in the FA Cup second
round. There’s £54,000 up for grabs in prize money, plus a potentially
lucrative place in the third round draw.

One thing’s for sure – the former Notts boss won’t be taking
his old side for granted.

“It’s going to be a massive test,” added Curle, whose side
pocketed £36,000 for beating Chippenham in round one. “They will probably go
into the game as underdogs because of their league status, but I know what that
club should be and could be.

“No FA Cup money is factored into our business plan. We
don’t need a Cup run to clear debts. The revenue generated is a bonus. Like all
League Two clubs, we have priorities where that money could be used if we’re
successful.

“I’m sure some would filter down to the footballing department, whether that’s the budget or improvements in the training ground and the infrastructure.”

JOHN LYONS

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