Keith Curle has given an insight into the standards he will be demanding from the Cobblers squad, by revealing that he ‘straightened out’ a few players in the half-time interval at Macclesfield on Tuesday – even though his team was 4-0 up!
A hat-trick from Matt Crooks and a Daniel Powell strike had put Town in total command at Moss Rose, and although Curle was obviously happy with how things had panned out, he was still not satisfied with aspects of his team’s performance.
Some of the players were probably quite surprised that they got straightened out at half-time, as in being told don’t detour from what the objective is, collectively, or individuallyCobblers boss Keith Curle
“There were some slight disappointments within the game, where there were times where we came away from areas of the pitch where we could have caused them problems,” said the Cobblers boss.
“Players get told ‘this is what is needed, this is what’s required, and this is what we demand’.
“So it is good to be able to go in at half-time, and the players are expecting a pat on the back and lots of ‘well dones’, and they then get straightened into the mind-set of ‘don’t take your foot off the gas’.
“We told them to keep doing what they are doing, because if you want to be individual within your set-up, then it works away from what we are trying to do.
“Some of the players were probably quite surprised that they got straightened out at half-time, as in being told don’t detour from what the objective is, collectively, or individually.”
The talk had the desired effect, as Town went out in the second half and continued to dominate before sealing a 5-0 win on the road – the first time the club has done that since the opening day of the 1987/88 season when Chester City were swept aside by Graham Carr’s side at Sealand Road.
Curle is clearly a manager who knows exactly what he wants from his players, and he expects them to follow his and assistant Colin West’s instructions out to the letter – or face the consequences.
“I told the changing room on my first day, I don’t praise failure,” said the Town boss.
“If somebody is trying to do something and it is the wrong thing to do, even if it comes off, he won’t get praise out of me.
“We identify what we want the players to do, areas we want to work in, and what is expected from the players in those areas.
“And the players are confident at the moment because they are doing the simple things very well and they are enjoying doing the simple things.”
The Cobblers will be aiming for a fourth win in five matches, and a second successive home victory, when they entertain Oldham Athletic at the PTS Academy Stadium on Saturday (ko 3pm).