Cobblers boss Curle wary of Notts County's Football League 'experience' and 'ability'

Cobblers boss Keith Curle
Cobblers boss Keith Curle

Keith Curle feels Notts County are a Football League club in all but name ahead of the Cobblers' FA Cup second round clash between the two clubs at the PTS Academy Stadium on Sunday (ko 2pm).

A former Magpies manager, Curle is well aware of the stature of the Meadow Lane outfit, and although there is no getting away from the fact they suffered relegation from Sky Bet League Two last season, he says they are still a club and a team to be reckoned with.

Former AFC Wimbledon boss Neal Ardley was in charge when County lost their status as the world's oldest League club last season, and he remains the manager.

He has also maintained a squad full of players with Football League experience, and although they haven't started the National League season as they would have liked this season, Curle knows they have plenty of quality in their ranks.

It is certainly not your usual League versus non-League, David versus Goliath encounter.

"It is an unusual one," said the Cobblers boss. "Notts County have good experience throughout the team, and a lot of League games throughout the team as well.

"They have goal threats, they have good pace in the team, and they have finishing ability.

"We have good information and good intel on their personnel and how they like to play.

"But anything can happen and you need to be ready for anything, and that is what we try to do.

"My focus is on what we do, because I know on our day we can give anybody a game."

The Magpies conceded a late, late goal to draw 2-2 at home with Boreham Wood on Tuesday night, a third league game without a win, but Curle feels they should have had a more positive result.

"I went to the game on Tuesday and they should have won it, they were by far the better team, footballing wise and talent wise," said the Town manager.

"But it is the sort of football club where, at the moment, they haven't quite reached that upward spiral they are looking for.

"I know that it is a difficult place to manage, and you have to get the fans on your side, you have to give them something to shout about, and then they are as good as any supporters anywhere.

"But you have to get them onside because they are quite unforgiving, and they are not easily pleased."

More than 1,000 County fans will be at the game on Sunday, and Curle has already gone on record to say he feels Ardley and his team may well be happier in a role as the underdog at the PTS Academy Stadium.

But he is confident the Town support will also rise to the occasion, and said: "They are a very well supported club, but they won't out-shout our supporters on Sunday.

"Our fans are very vocal when we give them something to shout about, and that is what we are trying to do. We know we can turn this stadium into a place where other teams don't want to come.

"They would get the warm welcome they always get, but on the pitch when the game starts we want to make this a place teams don't want to come."

The Cobblers have a fully-fit squad to choose from for the County clash.