Curle encouraged by elements of Cobblers display in MK Dons victory
It was a satisfactory end to Cobblers' pre-season campaign for manager Keith Curle after his side's 2-1 victory over MK Dons on Friday night.
Dons won promotion out of League Two last season and therefore provided Town with a good gauge as to their own progress ahead of next weekend's curtain-raiser against Walsall.
And fans would have left the PTS on Friday feeling encouraged by what they witnessed after goals from Sam Hoskins and Harry Smith yielded a deserved victory.
"We're very thankful for Paul (Tisdale) and his staff for bringing his team over because it was an excellent workout for the lads," said Curle afterwards.
"It was a good opportunity to work from the shape that we need to have defensively and it's always pleasing to finish pre-season with a victory.
"If you look what we've had in pre-season with Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United and MK Dons, they're all good challenges and the pleasing thing for me is that the players have accepted those challenges.
"We've gradually got better and better with the understanding out of possession - there's still more to come in possession but you always start off getting that understanding of the default shape that we need to be in out of possession.
"The results in pre-season are not immaterial but they're secondary because it's about getting that understanding in and out of possession and players' roles and responsibilities.
"For large periods of tonight's game, we were able to keep our shape against a very good side."