Curle happy with Warburton's progress but says midfielder needs to 'relax' after step up
Keith Curle believes Cobblers fans are just starting to see the best of Matty Warburton after the midfielder scored his first league goal for the club last weekend.
The 27-year-old joined Town in the summer, switching from non League outfit Stockport County, having scored more than 20 goals last season to help the Hatters to the National League North title.
It was a big move for Warburton in more ways than one, as he also had to give up his day job as a PE teacher to live his dream of becoming a full-time professional footballer.
Throw in the fact the player also had to move south from his Greater Manchester home, and it is clear to see it is not the easiest adjustment for anybody to make, as it is a massive change in lifestyle.
Warburton has done well though, making 12 starts for Town to date, and in the recent 2-2 draw at Oldham he scored his first Football League goal.
He can add that to the one he scored in the Carabao Cup against Swansea City back in August, and although he may have hoped for more, his manager is happy with his progress.
“I’m very pleased with Matty,” said the Curle.
“It’s a big step up for him, not only in his football development but also his complete change of lifestyle and complete change of mindset, adapting to being a professional footballer.
“Sometimes what you find is that, when you’re in the ranks of a professional club, it’s different. In the past he might have had a structured day, getting up at half past seven, getting into work for half past eight and doing his homework and preparing his work for teaching.
“Now he’s not having to be in until 10 o’clock and he’s getting some afternoons off, that can put mental stress on you because you’re not active.
“That can lead to a different mindset – are you doing enough? Are you not doing enough? And that can create anxiety.
“You end up doing more than what you should be doing at the wrong time so there’s all those sort of mental adjustments that are needed.
“But I’ve got to say he’s accepted the challenges very well, he’s adapted very well and he probably just needs to relax a little bit and focus on himself more as an individual and what he brings to the team rather than the other way around of what he needs to do to be in the team.”
And he added: “We bought him here as a goalscoring, attacking midfield player that will score goals and will create goals and will operate in the final third.
“The pleasing thing was that he was in the team, came out of the team, had a break and then come back in and showed us the attributes again that we know he’s got.
“It’s excellent that he’s got one goal but disappointed that he didn’t get two.”