Boss Curle backing key men Adams and Warburton to hit top creative gear

Keith Curle watches on as Matty Warburton makes a break during last Saturday's defeat at Bradford City
Keith Curle watches on as Matty Warburton makes a break during last Saturday's defeat at Bradford City

Keith Curle is confident Cobblers playmakers Nicky Adams and Matty Warburton will soon click into top creative gear.

The pair are crucial cogs in Town's attacking strategy this season and despite both playing well and impressing in games, for different reasons they have struggled to hit top goal creating and taking form so far.

Nicky Adams

Nicky Adams

Warburton is still very much finding his feet in the full-time professional game, having signed from non-League Stockport County in the summer, but Curle has been delighted with his progress, and insists the 27-year-old will only get better.

Adams was arguably the club's marquee signing of a hectic summer.

The 32-year-old has a proven track record of assists in Sky Bet League Two, topping the divisional charts last season as he created 15 goals for Bury on their way to promotion.

He also directly made 13 goals in the Cobblers' title win of 2016, and the season after was responsible for 16 of Carlisle's goals as they reached the promotion play-offs.

Adams will have also had a crucial hand in scores of other goals in those seasons, and throughout his career.

In nine games this season to date, Adams has yet to provide a direct assist or score a goal, and that is a similar story for Warburton in his eight games, although he has netted once, in the Caribao Cup defeat at Swansea City.

Stats alone prove nothing of course, and both players have made telling contributions in the build up to goals and in creating chances that have been missed, but there is little doubt Curle will be wanting more as the season progresses.

Both are expected to start in Saturday's clash with unbeaten Newport County, and the Cobblers boss believes it is a matter of when, and not if, the assists and goals start to flow.

As far as Warburton is concerned, Curle has nothing but praise for the former PE teacher who scored 24 goals as Stockport County won the Vanarama National League North last season.

"I think Matty has done excellently, and the one thing he hasn't done yet in the league is score a goal," said the Cobblers boss. "But his understanding, adapting, his attitude and application have been exemplary.

"He is finding the pace of it, finding the level of it, the day-to-day training and he is adpating to all of that, although it does take a little bit of time.

"Matty is seeing it as a challenge, and the best thing about it is he is enjoying the challenge.

"Some of his link up play, some of his combination play, some of his positional play and his understaning of the game has been very good.

"There are things that he still needs to work on, and it is that attitude and that willingness to learn, listen and develop that is exemplary."

It has been a difficult few months off the pitch for Adams, who admitted that the events surrounding his departure from his former club Bury, and that club's ultimate demise, had hit him hard.

But he insists he has shrugged that off, and although he has yet to replicate the form he showed in his previous spell with the Cobblers, Curle, who managed Adams at Carlisle, knows the player will give all he has to create and score goals this season.

"Nicky has hit the post twice with efforts, and he has yet to go on that run of the assists that we know he is capable of," said the Town manager. "But he is enjoying the football club.

"I think that is massive, and he has a passion for the football club which I think is infectious for the changing room.

"The results and performances matter to Nicky, and that is why he has been made club captain.

"He has the characteristics that we want in and around the football club."