Curle: Cobblers players want to 'learn and improve' and won't 'shy away from criticism'

Keith Curle
Keith Curle

Cobblers boss Keith Curle has praised his players for the way they've handled recent criticism and used it as motivation to 'learn and improve'.

The Cobblers received plenty of stick after throwing away 2-0 leads against both Crawley and Morecambe, before Saturday's home defeat to Leyton Orient was met by boos at full-time.

But they were back on the winning trail with victory at Cambridge United in the Leasing.com Trophy on Tuesday, and afterwards Curle hailed his players for the way they've responded to recent setbacks.

"The players have taken knocks," he said. "We won a couple of games, drew a couple and went on a run and then got a slap in the face but the attitude and application of players, they don't shy away from criticism.

"There's not a fear factor of 'well we've lost the game and I'm going to get my head ripped off' - it's a case of 'if I've got criticism coming my way, I'll deal with it, I'll learn and I'm also allowed to ask questions to find out how I improve'.

"That's the developing environment we're trying to create and if we lose, we learn."

Striker Harry Smith is one player that's been in the firing line but he responded in the best possible way, scoring the winning goal in Tuesday's game at the Abbey Stadium.

"Sometimes his eagerness and willingness to score gets him into false positions and that's something we think we can adjust to," Curle added.

"That's the development period that he's going through now because he's got that instinct to be in there and sometimes he's getting in there too early.

"What we're saying is give yourself another opportunity and make the target area that you want to arrive into a little bit bigger, but that's one of the things we're working on."