Curle implores Cobblers to stick to the plan against Cheltenham after going off track at Crawley

Cobblers boss Keith Curle has implored his players to go back to the 'blueprint' that yielded so much success prior to their heavy loss at Crawley Town on Boxing Day.

Saturday, 28th December 2019, 3:36 pm
Updated Saturday, 28th December 2019, 3:46 pm
Keith Curle

The Cobblers had won six and lost just one of their eight previous league games before taking on out-of-form Crawley.

But a disastrous 4-0 defeat, coupled with two bad injuries, brought everyone crashing back down to earth and dropped Town outside the play-off places in League Two.

Several theories did the rounds as to what led to such a poor performance, including Curle's decision to give his squad Christmas Day off, but he felt it was simply a case of his players deviating from their previously successful 'blueprint'.

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"The disappointing thing was that we didn't do what we're good at and that's getting on the front foot," bemoaned Curle afterwards.

"I've had a look back at it and in the first four minutes we played seven short passes - that's not us.

"We get territorial advantage, we get on the front foot and we play in the opposition's final third. We came away from that and now we'll get straight back to it.

Asked how he'll go about trying to coax a response from his players against Cheltenham on Sunday, Curle added: "We go back to basics now because, against Crawley, we didn't have our blueprint.

"Our starting point is that we get on the front foot but we didn't do that. We played a game that didn't suit us and took options that didn't suit us.

"It might have looked pretty for one or two passes but ultimately we want the ball in the final third and we want to get after it, win first contact and win second contact but we didn't do any of that.

"Ultimately we tried playing a game that doesn't suit us."