Curle keen to end season positively as Cobblers head to Oldham
Keith Curle is challenging his players to end the season on a high when they travel to fellow mid-table outfit Oldham Athletic on Saturday.
The Cobblers wrap up a disappointing Sky Bet League Two campaign at Boundary Park, and Curle has made it clear he does not want a repeat of the first-half performance in last weekend's 2-2 draw with Yeovil Town at the PTS Academy Stadium.
Town found themselves 2-0 down to the Glovers at the break, but they did then fight back to draw 2-2 and consign their visitors to relegation to the National League.
After the game, Curle made no attempt to hide his contempt at his team's first-half performance.
The Town boss announces the club's retained list on Monday, and it is expected that many of the current squad will be told their future lies away from the PTS Academy Stadium, with Curle keen to rebuild the squad.
But he is still expecting the players to put in a professional performance against the Latics, and asked what he wants from the trip to the north west, he said: “I want to see more of the second-half performance from Saturday.
“I know the effort, commitment and application won’t be in question, because the players have an understanding of how I work.
“But we want to put in a performance that sets the tone for the start of next season.”
Like the Cobblers, Oldham have endured an underwhelming campaign following their relegation from league one last season.
That has surprised Curle, who expected the Latics to be challenging for promotion following the investment made by the club last summer.
"I would have thought that the beginning of the season, the ambition within Oldham would have been to be operating within the top seven," said the Cobblers boss.
"With some of the players they signed, and with some of the wages they committed to at the start of the season, they would have expected to be operating in the top three, top seven as a minimum.
"They have had a few distractions, but ultimately they still have some very good players, so it will be a tough game."
The Cobblers have no injury concerns for the weekend.