Curle outlines what Cobblers best do better when defending a lead

Keith Curle
Keith Curle

Cobblers boss Keith Curle has told his players where they're going wrong and what they must do better in order to prevent more points from slipping away this season.

For the third time in nine matches Town saw a 2-0 lead at Oldham Athletic on Saturday become 2-2 by the full-time whistle as the hosts struck twice in the final five minutes.

The Cobblers have now lost eight points to goals conceded in the 85th minute or later this season, and Curle knows it's a problem that must be fixed sooner rather than later.

Asked what his side must do better, he said: "The message we're trying to convey to the players is that, when you get a goal, work harder, get closer, tackle harder.

"And then when you get a second goal, step it up again because it means you're getting on top of somebody but you also need to be respectful and you need to do more.

"Oldham threw caution to the wind and left five or six people forward so you have to make sure you hurt teams when you retain possession or when you're breaking.

"You've got to be prepared to recycle the ball. If you don't, they can get a mistimed header and a ricochet and it can cost you.

"We've got to stop them putting balls forward with quality and it was too easy for Oldham to put the ball forward for their first goal."

Curle often talks about the importance of putting 'demands' on players and he reiterated that following Saturday's draw at Boundary Park.

"It's the demands we put on people," he added. "If somebody doesn't make the right pass, doesn't make the right decision, doesn't make the run, doesn't do what's required, then they've got to be told on the pitch.

"What you find is if that you get told and you have two, three, four people telling you, the next time you get it you make the right decision and that's what we need to spread and I think it is spreading and it is working."