Keith Curle has called on his Cobblers players to be more ruthless and clinical, and make sure they land a ‘killer punch’ when they are dominant in matches.
As the Cobblers head to south Wales for Tuesday night’s Sky Bet League Two clash at high-flying Newport County, the Town boss is still frustrated over his side’s inabilty to beat Grimsby Town last weekend.
So it is a case of having that understanding that when you have a foothold in the game, and when you have somebody on the ropes, don’t step back and admire one shotCobblers boss Keith Curle
The visitors were outlcassed for long spells of the first half, with the Cobblers taking an early lead through Andy Williams, but they then failed to make their superiority count.
Grimsby levelled before the break, and although Kevin van Veen again fired Town ahead towards the end of a scrappy second half, the visitors were again allowed to bounce back and level at 2-2, which was how it stayed.
And Curle feels his players have start to make their pressure count when they are on top.
“We spoke to the Grimsby management team after the game, and after the first 10 or 15 minutes they were discussing that is could be a very, very long afternoon for them,” said the Cobblers boss.
“We started so well, got the goal and had one or two other skirmishes, and if we had got that second goal it could have been a long afternoon for Grimsby.
“So it is a case of having that understanding that when you have a foothold in the game, and when you have somebody on the ropes, don’t step back and admire one shot.
“It’s like in boxing, if you have somebody on the ropes and you are giving them lefts and rights and they start wobbling, then you go in for the killer punch rather than stand off.
“Because if you do that, then the likelihood is that if you only injure them, they are likely to get up and smack you on the nose.
“That is the message, when you get that team on the back foot don’t stand and admire, you have to be more clinical and finish teams off.”
And he added: “What we need to do, when we earn the right to go and play we need to be better with our options, more clinical with our passing and more determined to maintain the momentum.
“If you force a team on to the back foot, then rather than hold your position you need to take another step forward.
“We need to earn the right to win games first of all, and 1-0 isn’t enough of a lead for us to not go and keep getting in people’s shorts, and getting up close and personal with the opposition.
“It is about grinding out results, having that determination and that understanding that this is what we are going to be about, and we are going to go and play in the opposition’s final third and keep doing what we want to do.”
The Cobblers have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the trip to Rodney Parade, but they will still be without midfielder Matt Crooks and attacker Dean Bowditch, while striker Junior Morias sits out the final match of his three-game suspnsion.