Curle delighted with his 'brave' players as Cobblers shrug off difficult start to beat Grimsby
Boss Keith Curle praised the bravery of his players as they overcame a tricky start to the game before going on to seal a hard-fought 2-0 win over Grimsby Town on Saturday.
The visitors were the better side in the opening exchanges and caused the Cobblers plenty of problems with their front three of James Hanson, Matt Green and Jordan Cook.
Curle set his team up to stay three-on-three, and it did mean the Mariners threatened early on, but once the Cobblers got their noses in front through Scott Wharton on 25 minutes, they looked in control.
"Grimsby started well, as they did in the FA Cup in midweek, and in James Hanson and Matt Green they have players who, on their day, can cause anybody problems," said Curle, who saw his team claim a fifth win in their past six Sky Bet league Two games.
"But we stuck to our beliefs, we were brave enough to go three versus three at the back and that meant at times we would be stretched, which happened, but we know we can score goals.
"If a team wants to play three up then you know they have a weakness at the other end of the pitch, and having that belief and understanding was key."
Once again Town's strength fron set-pieces was a key factor in the win, with Wharton heading home a Nicky Adams free-kick to break the deadlock, before Vadaine Oliver added a second from close range just before the break.
Asked about his team's strength from dead ball situations, Curle said: "It's something we don't take lightly, we work on them and we have different variations within it.
"You get the delivery, the movement, the starting positions, and then the willingness to go and get on the end of it.
"People will watch the videos, watch what you do, but it is still very difficult to stop."
The win over Grimsby means the Cobblers are now up to fifth in league two, just two points off the top three.
Town now have a week off league action as they prepare for next Sunday's FA Cup second round clash with National League side Notts County.