Cobblers developing their 'craft' as boss Curle targets Doncaster scalp

The Cobblers players celebrate Cian Bolger's match-winning goal against Fleetwood on Tuesday nightThe Cobblers players celebrate Cian Bolger's match-winning goal against Fleetwood on Tuesday night
The Cobblers players celebrate Cian Bolger's match-winning goal against Fleetwood on Tuesday night
"It's about finding a way to win"

Keith Curle will not be making any excuses for his Cobblers team doing everything they can to nullify the threat of Doncaster Rovers at the PTS Academy Stadium on Saturday (ko 3pm).

Town are on a high following a three-match unbeaten run in Sky Bet League One, and on Tuesday night they secured their first win of the season against a team in the top 10 of the division when they saw off promotion hopefuls Fleetwood Town 1-0.

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It was a hard-fought win for Curle's team, who scored from a set-piece early in the second half and then defended superbly to keep a talented Fleetwood side at arm's length.

Cobblers boss Keith CurleCobblers boss Keith Curle
Cobblers boss Keith Curle

The post-match stats showed the Cobblers only managed 29 per cent possession against Joey Barton's men, but the truth was that Town goalkeeper Steve Arnold only had one save of note to make in the whole 90 minutes, from a first-half free-kick from Ched Evans.

It was a very professional performance from Town, and although it wasn't the prettiest nor the most exciting, Curle says that is going to be a reality in some matches as the Cobblers, simply put, come up against teams that have better players.

And Curle and his coaching staff are trying to teach their squad how to deal with that.

"It's about finding a way to win," said Curle.

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"Sometimes you are going to play against teams that, on paper and actually on the field, have some very good technicians.

"They going to have some very good footballers who are going to cause us problems, but individually with the players we are developing craft.

"We are trying to give them that craft, so that sometimes when you are playing against a player who is going to be quicker than you, it means you need to drop off.

"If you are playing against somebody who is more physical than you, then sometimes you have to mark them in front so he can't get the ball into his feet where you can't get the ball off of him.

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"We are developing that craft within the group, it is what we are working on and it is a development we are trying to maintain."

Doncaster arrive at the PTS off the back of a 2-1 defeat at league one leaders Hull City on Wednesday night.

That was their first league defeat since the end of October, and left them sitting 10th in the table, four points off the play-offs and six off automatic promotion.

But they do have games in hand on most of the teams above them, and Curle is in no doubt Rovers will be in the mix for a place in the Championship come the end of the season.

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"I think Doncaster have got some very good players, and I think they easily a team that will be embedded in the top eight in this division," said the Cobblers boss.

"Within that shake-up of the top eight, I think they can finish anywhere within it.

"It is going to be another test for us, but it is a test and challenge we are looking forward to and we will be competitive."

The Cobblers, who dropped to 16th in the league one table following Wednesday night's results, could move into the top half if they can beat Doncaster.

If they do claim a second straight win then they will join Rovers on 21 points.

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