Boss Curle believes Cobblers supporters are having a 'massive' influence on his in-form squad

Cobblers boss Keith Curle has been able to celebrate victories in each of the team's past two home games
Cobblers boss Keith Curle has been able to celebrate victories in each of the team's past two home games

Keith Curle has hailed the 'massive' influence the Cobblers supporters have had on the team in recent weeks - and believes the bond between the fans and the players is getting stronger all the time.

Town entertain Crawley Town at the PTS Academy Stadium on Saturday (ko 3pm), aiming to make it three straight wins in Sky Bet League Two, and also three home wins on the bounce.

After disappointing defeats to Walsall and Macclesfield Town in their opening two home league fixtures, Town have bounced back to see off two of the promotion favourites in Plymouth Argyle and Newport County, and suddenly there is a bit of a buzz around the PTS.

Town's home ground has not always been the most positive of environments in recent times, with the team having struggled for form and results on their own patch over the course of the past three seasons.

But the atmosphere has been lifted by those two big wins, which were also achieved with the team playing some exciting, attacking football, and Curle says he can feel something positive building at the club.

More than 450 Cobblers fans travelled to Stevenage in midweek and were in great voice as Town secured a 1-0 win, and asked about the level of support for him and his team, Curle said: "Their influence has been massive.

"I think the large element are starting to see the true personalities and true characteristics of the players coming through, and why they have been brought here.

"They have had glimpses and collectively the team has been able to put things together, and now the supporters are starting to identify some of the characteristics that they like.

"They like Charlie Goode, they like Andy Williams, they are starting to appreciate the work-rate of Sam Hoskins, and everybody knows what Nicky Adams can do when you give him that freedom and you give him the time to put balls into the box.

"I think Harry Smith will become a player that they will easily identify with, and I could go through the whole team.

"There is Shaun McWilliams who is one of their own and they identify with him because he is a local lad, and there is a level of respect going from the supporters to the players now.

"There is the likes of Joe Martin and Michael Harriman, and the fans know what to expect and they know they are good, experienced players who understand their roles in the team.

"They know they will do the unfashionable side of the game, but do it very well, and I think the supporters are now getting that identity of the players.

"It does take time, because they need to see them play, they need to see them when they are winning games, when they are losing games, and they need to identify the effort, the commitment, the desire and the willingness to do well."

And Curle also believes that the fans' support can lead to the players producing even better performances.

"When that grows even more, then I think the supporters will get another yard out of the players as well," he said.

"It is always easier when somebody says 'well done' to you and you are being appreciated, and if you are appreciated by your supporters, then the players will find another yard."