Cobblers pair deny having Christmas Day off contributed to their poor showing at Crawley

Goalkeeper Steve Arnold and defender Joe Martin both insisted that Keith Curle's decision to give the Cobblers squad Christmas Day off played no part in their abysmal 4-0 defeat at Crawley Town on Boxing Day.

Friday, 27th December 2019, 12:56 pm
Steve Arnold kicks downfield. Picture: Pete Norton

Curle has always allowed players to spend time with family at Christmas during his managerial career and that was again the case this year, despite Cobblers playing at Crawley the following afternoon.

But he might be tempted to review that policy after his side's seriously lacklustre performance at the Broadfield Stadium as they were deservedly thrashed 4-0 by the out-of-form strugglers.

"Definitely not," said Arnold when quizzed on whether or not having Christmas Day off contributed to the defeat. "We are professional footballers and that doesn't even cross you mind.

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"It's just been one of those days for us and we know it wasn't good enough, far from good enough. We had it at Scunthorpe and then we went on a run so now we've got to look to do the same thing again.

"It's hard to put your finger on it so quickly after the game but what we will do is we'll sit down as a team, go through the whole game and look where we went wrong because obviously we did.

"It was 4-0, it wasn't good enough and we'll go back through it to find what went wrong."

Arnold was a surprise inclusion at Crawley, taking the place of David Cornell in goal, and he was joined in the team by Martin, who started his first league game in nearly three months.

"I think everyone has the same preparation," said the 31-year-old. "We're all professional footballers and we all do this for a living.

"I don't think that (Christmas Day off) really had much to do with it. It was just the fact that sometimes you don't perform but physically you'll probably look at the stats and it's not down to that because we still ran.

"But we didn't do what we're good at and that's the main reason for the result."