Curle hails Williams' tireless attitude and admits Cobblers rode their luck in Swindon win

Andy Williams celebrates his goal with Sam Hoskins. Picture: Pete Norton
Andy Williams celebrates his goal with Sam Hoskins. Picture: Pete Norton

Keith Curle was full of praise for the resilience and attitude of Andy Williams after the striker bounced back from Saturday's miss against Macclesfield with a goal at Swindon Town on Tuesday, although the Cobblers boss did accept his side may have rode their luck en route to all three points at the County Ground.

Williams' unfortunate miss against Macclesfield was the talk of social media on Saturday evening after he skewed wide the target from just a few yards out with the whole goal at his mercy.

He was also denied by Silkmen goalkeeper Owen Evans later in the game, however he finally got his goal with a well-taken finish at Swindon on Tuesday evening - and it was just reward for his tireless, committed performance as Town's sole striker.

"A lot of people would have questioned starting Andy Williams after his miss on Saturday but we can all make mistakes, we can all miss a chance, we can all misplace a pass," said Curle afterwards.

"But there's an understanding from him of the role that's required and there was a willingness to work and I thought he earned his goal.

"I call it the graveyard shift - we said it in training that Andy Williams is going to do the most miles, the most unchallenged work and most of his work will be without reward.

"It's about the attitude. If you don't see the graveyard shift as a challenge, the miles seem twice as much.

"Anything he lasted after 70 minutes was a plus. I told Andy at 75 minutes that he's got five more minutes but he told me 'no, there's 15 to go' and that's the type of attitude I want.

"I'd probably be say his goal was slightly more than a tad offside! But I think we're still due a bit of luck and the harder you work the luckier you get."

Curle also revealed the key tactical role Williams played during Tuesday's victory at the County Ground, adding: "What he had to do was make their play predictable, frustrate them, keep their play one side and him working and him sacrificing himself will save other players mileage in their legs.

"It starts off with Andy Williams sacrificing himself and being prepared to do that work. We could keep our shape and we knew where we could win the ball back.

"As soon as Andy showed play one side, our midfield players had to be locked, had to be engaged and win the ball back on that side - we needed to attack the ball in midfield and I thought we won it back very well.

"You can keep play one side and he did the job fantastically well and he got his reward - one chance, one goal."