Boss Curle pleased with Cobblers' performance against Sky Blues

Keith Curle watched his Cobblers side draw 1-1 with Coventry City in Spain (Picture: Pete Norton)
Keith Curle watched his Cobblers side draw 1-1 with Coventry City in Spain (Picture: Pete Norton)

Keith Curle was happy with his team's performance against Coventry City on Friday, and was particularly pleased with the defensive shape and discipline in the 1-1 pre-season friendly draw.

Playing at the team's Pinatar Arena complex, Town led at half-time thanks to a strike from Harry Smith, only to be pegged back early in the second half.

The Cobblers gave as good as they got against their Sky Bet League One opponents, with Curle impressed with his new look team's defensive organisation.

Seven of the club's summer signings started against the Sky Blues, and Curle said: "We kept our shape very well, and the game was about our defensive shape.

"Every game now that we play in pre-season we will work on different aspects of our game, and this was about nullifying the opposition, and making sure we are making their play predictable.

"I thought we did that quite well as a team, and the pleasing thing was that finishing the game with the substitutes coming on, they picked up the thread tactically of what we wanted from it so that is very pleasing."

The match was played in very hot conditions under a baking sun, and Curle wasa also happy about that!

"The conditions were sweltering, but again that is excellent for fitness and you see players adapting to it," said the Town manager.

"If you can work in these temperatures, at the intensity and tempo that we want to work at, that is why we came over here, because you are going to get fitter, and fitter and fitter.

"The thing for the players now that it is all about recovery now."

The Cobblers return to the UK on Saturday, and Curle has been delighted with how the week in Spain has gone.

"We are still working on combinations, and as a group getting that understanding of the individual's strengths and weaknesses, and combining that into a team ethic," he said.

"That is the important thing about pre-season. We have a squad of players, but it is getting a team mentality within that squad and with the bonding, the training, the games, we have ticked a lot of boxes individually and collectively for the group."

And he added: "The most important thing that has come out of the week is the focus of the group.

"When we are working, we are working, when we are resting, the players are resting correctly, and that is important.

"You can tell there is a positive and professional thread spread among the changing room, and that is pleasing."