Keith Curle praised his Carlisle United players for showing ‘backbone’ when put under pressure by the Cobblers on Saturday.
The Cumbrians ended a three-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over Town at Brunton Park which has closed the gap between the sides to just three points.
It was an important win for Carlisle, who have been guided out of the relegation zone by Curle, and the former Mansfield manager was delighted to claim three points at the expense of a Northampton side who ‘stretched’ his team.
“I think it’s important for us that we got that win,” he said. “We’ve done a lot of talking and there’s been a lot of time spent on the training ground recently. The spirit has come through and that was what this group needed more than anything.
“What we needed to see more than anything was a backbone. They put us under pressure and we stood up to it. I thought we saw a bit of toughness and we need to develop and grow that so it becomes second nature.”
“A lot of the League Two teams we will face are big and physical,” he continued. “You have to be prepared to match that. If you don’t stand up to it you get hurt in this division. You can’t let yourself be bullied or you get nothing at all.
“It wasn’t always pretty but it was a game we weren’t going to allow to go away from us lightly.
“It was nice to be tested and stretched and even better to come through it with a win.
“It was actually a difficult way to win a game even though I thought we created some good chances and some decent half chances.
“We probably had enough of those to win a couple of games.”