Cheltenham boss Duff hails ‘great job’ Curle has done at the Cobblers

Keith Curle
Keith Curle

Cheltenham Town boss Michael Duff says Keith Curle has ‘done a great job’ in transforming the fortunes of the Cobblers since taking charge in October.

The Robins boss is an admirer of how Curle has steered Town away from relegation danger to the fringes of the promotion play-off places in his six months in charge, and has hailed the ‘resilience’ and ‘mentality’ he has instilled into the Cobblers squad.

Curle takes his team to Cheltenham on Saturday aiming to extend their unbeaten Sky Bet League Two run to nine games, but they will be up against a Robins side that is in very good form at home.

Cheltenham are unbeaten in their past six league games at Whaddon Road, winning five of those, but Duff knows his team are in for a testing afternoon against the Cobblers.

“Keith’s done a great job. I think Northampton have lost four or five games since he’s come in,” said Duff, who has been in charge of the Robins since September.

“Granted I don’t think they should’ve been where they were when he took over, but they were, and he’s come in and done a really good job.

“I think in the form table they must be in the top three or four since he’s been in; hard to beat, tough, I think they’ve only lost 10 games all season, so I think most of them were at the start of the season.

“MK Dons and Forest Green have only lost 10 so it goes to show that they’re a hard team to beat.

“I went to watch them against Newport the other week and it was really gritty, similar to our game with Newport…it looked like it was going to be a 0-0 but they scored in the last minute.

“They’ve gone up to Grimsby and ground out another 0-0 so they’re definitely tough to beat.

“I think that shows a resilience, it shows a mentality that Keith’s drilled into them.

“They’re organised from set-plays; they’re a real threat from them, they throw seven in the box, and have good variation within it.

“So we’ll be under no illusions that, again typical league two, you’ve got to be able to stand up and fight and do all those because at any level if you’re not prepared to do that you’ve got no chance.”