Curle: Cobblers must be mentally switched on or risk cup upset at Chippenham
Keith Curle has warned his players they must approach tomorrow's FA Cup first-round tie at Chippenham Town with the right 'mindset and mentality' or run the risk of suffering a shock exit from the competition.
Cobblers are 52 places above Chippenham in the football league ladder and will travel to Hardenhuish Park on Sunday as overwhelming favourites to progress.
But as previous experiences have taught them, most notably their infamous 1-0 defeat to Stourbridge three years ago, the Cobblers can take nothing for granted when it comes to the world's oldest cup competition.
“Every year you see upsets and you see coupon busters in the competition and it’s all about the mindset and the mentality,” said Curle.
“We’re going to Chippenham and it’s a nice pitch but the surroundings are befitting for their league and we have to adapt and accept that mental challenge when we go there."
Chippenham, as the underdogs, will have nothing to lose and go into the game in good form, currently 14th in the National League South and on an 11-game unbeaten run.
Curle knows he must ensure complacency doesn't creep in, adding: "The important thing for us is that our preparation doesn't change, whoever we're playing.
"The information we give the players and the detailed analysis we do of the opposition, and how we format that into a presentation to the players, doesn't change.
"That is something which the players have got used to now. Whether we're playing top of the league, bottom of the league, non-league in the FA Cup or a game in the Leasing.com Trophy, we don't change our mentality.
"As staff we will put a presentation together for the players for them to go out and perform and represent the football club and when you represent the football club, it means something.
“Ultimately, when you go out onto the pitch, it’s a game of football."