Curle hails successful pre-season campaign for new-look Cobblers

Cobblers boss Keith Curle has been pleased with the progress of his new-look team during pre-season after they completed their friendly schedule with victory over MK Dons on Friday.

Saturday, 27th July 2019, 10:39 pm
Harry Smith's goal helped Cobblers beat MK Dons in their final friendly. Picture: Pete Norton

Town started pre-season with a routine 7-0 win over Northampton Sileby Rangers before spending a week training in Spain, where they drew 1-1 with Coventry City.

Defeats to Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United and Brackley Town followed but Cobblers signed off pre-season on a winning note thanks to goals from Sam Hoskins and Harry Smith in a 2-1 win over Dons.

Whilst the focus now shifts to the league campaign and Saturday's first game against Walsall, Curle reflected positively on his side's pre-season and praised the 'unity' of the changing room, which has seen 12 new players join over the past three months.

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"We've collected a squad and the pre-season games have been about turning the squad into a team and it's about getting the understanding in and out of possession," said the Town boss.

"You start pre-season and you think you've got too much time but then in the last week you think you could do with another week!

"But overall the important thing is to come into the season with players available to give me selection problems when it comes to Thursday or Friday when I prepare the team."

Gelling 12 signings into a successful team will be the challenge for Curle once their League Two campaign gets underway, but so far he's been pleased with what he's seen.

"Overall, bringing in the amount of players we have, there's been a continued growth of unity within the changing room and a good understanding with a good pecking order and good personalities," he added.

"There are players in there that have won promotion and they know what's needed and I've got to say, when it's been time to work, the players have worked and when there's been downtime, they've rested in the right way."