Curle admits Cobblers must improve in two areas after another home defeat - reaction and highlights
While he was not too downbeat after his side's second straight home defeat, there were two areas that Keith Curle admitted let the Cobblers down against Swindon Town on Tuesday.
Eventually defeated by Jordan Lyden's late header, Cobblers were a match for the league leaders before half-time but struggled to maintain their performance levels after the break.
They failed to make the most of several promising situations in attack during the first-half and then became too open in the second as Swindon repeatedly threatened on the counter-attack.
The visitors missed chances to make it a more comfortable evening but they returned home with three vital points courtesy of Lyden to maintain their two-point lead at the top of the table.
As for the Cobblers, they remain in the play-off positions but Curle conceded his side must make better decisions in the final third and also get more of a foothold in midfield.
"We could have had a little more quality and more intelligence in our play when we got on the ball in the final third," he said.
"In the first-half, we broke a few times but our final ball and our final decision in the last third could have been better.
"I think midfield is another area we can improve on because we need to make sure opposition teams don't come to our ground and play how they want to.
"They set themselves up to play counter-attacking football and we stuck to our beliefs. Sometimes, yes, we did look a little bit open and some bits and pieces could have been better but commitment, effort and desire to get back in to counter the counter-attack wasn't a problem."
Despite not being at their best, Cobblers did force Swindon goalkeeper Steven Benda into three good stops from Mark Marshall, Sam Hoskins and Charlie Goode.
"We had a few opportunities," added Curle. "Marshy had the shot in the first-half and the goalkeeper would have seen it very late and it was a very good save and turned out to be a match-winning save.
"Charlie Goode had the late header. You've got to put the ball back across goal and head it low because the goal's bigger and the goalkeeper's moving across but he made another good save.
"He made another good save from Sam Hoskins and those can be the defining moments, but you've got to give Swindon credit because they're a very good team."