Curle: Players must 'accept' the changes I make - even when we win

Cobblers' 4-1 victory over Crewe Alexandra is 'no guarantee' that Keith Curle will stick with the same starting XI for Saturday's visit of Grimsby Town.

Thursday, 21st November 2019, 7:49 am
Keith Curle

Town have won five of their last six games but that hasn't stopped Curle from regularly chopping and changing his starting line-up from week to week.

He made three alterations between the cup win at Chippenham and Saturday's victory against Crewe and even though the Cobblers were impressive 4-1 winners over David Artell's high-flyers, Curle could well tinker again this weekend.

"Until we start doing the format of what's required and the weaknesses that we can exploit at the weekend, selection decisions won't be made until Thursday," he said.

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"After I've watched the Crewe game back, the focus will be on Grimsby and that's how we work. We identify the areas we still need to improve on and they will have strengths and weaknesses.

"The changing room know just because we won on Saturday there's no guarantee that the team will be the same the following week and that's a challenge for the players and for the changing room and it's a challenge they have to accept."

Curle knows changing a winning team will not always pay off and leaves him open to criticism should the Cobblers lose, but he's confident his players understand he does it for the right reasons.

He added: "They don't have to like not playing because I don't want players around me that don't want to play, but it's a case of how you show it and making sure you're a part of it - that's massively important.

"If you're not one of the starting players, you've got to be ready and that's exactly the competition we've got for the goalkeeping position.

"Both Dai Cornell and Steve Arnold are very, very capable goalkeepers and what you have is that camaraderie because if you're not selected, you support and that's what we're trying to build with our centre-forwards as well."