Curle tips Smith for bright future and talks up importance of 'fulcrum' McCormack

Harry Smith was given a warm ovation when substituted on Saturday. Picture: Pete Norton
Harry Smith was given a warm ovation when substituted on Saturday. Picture: Pete Norton

Harry Smith has been tipped by his manager to go on and enjoy 'a very good career' after the striker's match-winning performance for the Cobblers during Saturday's 2-0 victory over Cambridge United.

Smith did not have the easiest start to his first season at the Cobblers and it's taken a while for him to win fans over following his move from Macclesfield Town in the summer.

The 6ft 5in striker scored his first goal for the club on his ninth appearance when netting the winner at Stevenage last month, but that was immediately tempered by a red card within just 10 minutes.

However, the 24-year-old doubled his tally at Cambridge United in the EFL Trophy and then tormented the same opposition in the league on Saturday when he enjoyed his best game for Northampton, scoring once and setting up the other.

"We're trying to get Harry to be on the move all the time and get him to anticipate rather than react," said Keith Curle afterwards.

"The thing is he's mobile, he's decent in the air and the lad can finish. What we need from him is to get those attributes all in tune and in sync with when we're playing the ball forward and what we require from him.

"In my mind the lad will go on and he will score goals and he'll have a very good career once he's picked up the fundamentals and the basics."

Smith was just one of numerous players to impress on Saturday and among the other notable performers was midfielder Alan McCormack, who returned to the side after sitting out Tuesday's trip to Carlisle through illness.

"Alan understands the game well and he's excellent in the changing room," added Curle.

"He's a fulcrum for what we want to do and he calms people down but also gets people on the front foot and gets people doing their jobs.

"That's what Alan does - he does his job and he understands his role within the team framework which is vitially important.

"The more people we get on that same page the easier it becomes for Alan because then he can concentrate on his job rather than trying to do everybody else's job as well."