Curle content to win 'ugly' as Cobblers battle past Crewe
'They played the football, we won the game,' summed up the mood of Cobblers boss Keith Curle after his side's 'ugly' 2-0 victory over Crewe Alexandra on Saturday.
Town were far from their free-flowing best during an often scrappy and lacklustre affair at the PTS Academy Stadium but all three points always looked to be heading their way once Andy Williams steered them into an 18th minute lead.
The second-half was more of a grind but Daniel Powell came off the bench to lash in a late second and secure the victory, making it three wins in a row and five from eight under Curle, lifting the Cobblers to 15th in the process.
He said: "We won ugly today and it wasn't the prettiest but we were playing against a team who have a philosophy and sometimes they can make you look awkward.
"I think it's a case of, at the minute, we're still putting foundations in place and learning and educating how to win games. They played the football, we won the game.
"I think everyone that took part today played their part in what we tried to do. It's a squad game and sometimes we looked to nullify them.
"We changed the formation to block up the midfield and it's a case of being brave and having an understanding that the game goes on for 94, 95 minutes.
"We had some good counter-attacks in the first-half and stopped Crewe from having that fluidity. We were a little bit too open in the second-half and that was because we didn't retain possession and we didn't put the ball into good areas when going forward."
The only negative to come out of Saturday's game was an injury sustained by Matt Crooks during the first-half. The midfielder was forced off just before half-time and replaced by Billy Waters.
"It's just an ankle injury," added Curle. "He was unable to perform at the highest physical level. He may have been able to play on but we're mindful of the fact that if he's not 100 per cent the likelihood is that we'll have a below-par footballer.
"With the competition we've got within the squad, we need physical people out there that can run around."