Curle applauds 'frank and honest' players for their 'excellent reaction' after blip

Keith Curle and David Kelly
Keith Curle and David Kelly

Cobblers boss Keith Curle has been delighted with the 'excellent reaction' from his players after they notched three wins in a row, the latest of which came at the expense of Cambridge United on Saturday.

Back-to-back defeats to Leyton Orient and Scunthorpe United snapped Town's four-game unbeaten run earlier in the month and sent them tumbling down to 18th in Sky Bet League Two.

Curle spoke of the need for his players to front up and produce a reaction on the pitch following their 3-0 loss to Scunthorpe but even he couldn't have foreseen such a swift and impressive turnaround.

Since Kevin van Veen's fine finish made it 3-0 half-an-hour into their defeat at Scunthorpe United, the Cobblers haven't conceded a goal for nearly 350 minutes of football with wins coming against Salford City, Carlisle United and Cambridge.

In the space of eight days they've leapt 10 places in the table and now lie eighth, one place outside the play-offs and six points behind league leaders Crewe Alexandra.

"I wouldn't say it's a statement because everything we get results-wise we earn," said Curle after his side's third victory in a week.

"There's been a lot of hard work from the players and from the coaching staff that's gone into the planning, the preparation, the detail and the execution is down to the players.

"And you've got to say it's been an excellent response from the players. A week or 10 days ago the changing room was completely different on the back of a 3-0 defeat at Scunthorpe."

Curle was quick to applaud his players and praise them for their 'honesty' following Saturday's latest victory over Cambridge.

He added: "Somebody said to me - would you rather take a 3-0 defeat that exposes everywhere that you need to improve or would you rather have three tight 1-0 defeats?

"You have to learn from it, identify the areas you need to improve and be honest and I think the reaction from the players has been excellent.

"They were very honest with themselves and that's important. I can give them information but they've taken it onboard and they've been open and frank with the discussions and the demands within the changing room has stepped up a level."