Curle 'shocked' by Town's 'attitude' during FA Cup humbling against Oxford City

Cobblers were second best from the word go
Joe Martin on the ball against Oxford City.Joe Martin on the ball against Oxford City.
Joe Martin on the ball against Oxford City.

Cobblers boss Keith Curle admitted he was 'shocked' by the 'attitude' of his side as much as their lack of quality during Monday's wretched defeat to Oxford City in the first-round of the FA Cup.

Town were both outclassed and outfought from minute one to minute 90 at Marsh Lane and were fortunate not to lose by a greater margin. In addition to goals from James Roberts and Josh Ashby, Oxford also hit the post, missed a penalty and squandered multiple good chances.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The home side produced more quality than their League One opponents, but they also had more hunger and desire about their play, something which came as a big surprise to Curle.

"It shocked me," said Curle when asked about his side's attitude during the game. "It's very disappointing because a lot of our success at this club has been built on the hunger that we show on the pitch.

"Yes, we make mistakes, but I can accept that because we're a League One football club that's just been promoted and we're developing a mentality. Players don't play badly on purpose, players don't miscontrol the ball on purpose and players don't make bad decisions on purpose, but it was one of those nights where we lacked personality as a group.

"It was a big disappointment. You could say that too many fringe players started but it's an opportunity for them. When else are you going to play them? It was a great chance for them to play and put in a performance.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"They're paid professionals that weren't getting game-time and it should have been the perfect opportunity to go and perform, but they haven't."

Curle will no doubt recall some of his first-team regulars for Saturday's visit of Accrington Stanley when he will want a big reaction from his side.

He added: "Make no mistake about it, some of those players who played on Monday and who were in the squad and who started the game, they will be involved on Saturday so I can't throw too many people off the bus.

"I will pick the team that is most likely to get a result against Accrington."