Absence of captain Goode 'upset Cobblers' rhythm' in Orient defeat - reaction and highlights

Cobblers boss Keith Curle felt the absence of captain Charlie Goode had a significant impact on his team both before and during Saturday's 'below-par' 1-0 defeat to Leyton Orient.

Sunday, 6th October 2019, 10:34 am
Charlie Goode

Goode had played every minute of every game this season but went down with illness overnight on Friday and Curle only discovered the centre-back was out of Saturday's game five hours prior to kick-off.

With Jordan Turnbull already missing through suspension, usual right-back Reece Hall-Johnson, making first start in nearly two months, was drafted in at centre-half while Harry Smith also returned to the starting line-up.

But Goode's absence seemed to upset the entire balance of the team and Town were completely out-of-sorts during the 1-0 defeat, deservedly beaten by James Brophy's second-half goal.

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"I think the absence of Charlie upset the rhythm," said Curle. "I got a phone call at 10 o'clock to say he wasn't going to be able to play so we had to reshuffle the pack.

"I think that had an impact on the team because there was a bit of uncertainty and it took a vital cog out of the wheel.

"Charlie is a very dominant character and he's very influential as an individual so it was disappointing to have two centre-backs out of the team with Jordan out as well - if you take two centre-backs out of any team in this division it'll have an impact."

Midfielder Alan McCormack, who was handed his first minutes since the opening day of the season as a second-half substitute, was also of the belief that the Cobblers struggled to cope without their skipper.

"You can see why Charlie's captain and he's a leader for us," he added. "He's an organiser, he's excellent on the ball and he puts his head anywhere.

"He was a massive miss and he'd be a miss for whatever team he played for because he's a very good player.

"Reece came in and was told at the last minute that he was going to start at centre-back after being out for a few weeks with injury. Give him credit - he tried to win as many headers as he could and he didn't shy away from anything.

"But I think we did miss Charlie and we missed his leadership and his tackles and last-ditch headers so hopefully he'll be back next week and spur us on to three points."