Curle will stick to his attacking principles despite step up to League One

Keith Curle.Keith Curle.
Keith Curle.
'There's still an improvement needed but that will come as they play more games together.'

Keith Curle insists he will not veer away from his attacking principles this season despite the significant step up in quality facing the Cobblers.

The Town boss was not afraid to take risks during his side’s promotion-winning campaign last season, particularly at the back where his three-man defence would often be left one-against-one on the counter-attack.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Charlie Goode, Scott Wharton and Jordan Turnbull proved more than adept at dealing with some dicy situations, but all three have left the club this summer ahead of Town’s first season back in League One.

Curle will stick with his methods, however, and has backed new signings Luka Racic, Cian Bolger and Fraser Horsfall to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors. The trio played together for the first time against Luton on Saturday.

“For 55 minutes, I was very pleased,” said Curle. “I thought we looked comfortable.

“The fundamentals we’ve got within our defending, at times we will go three v three, two v two, one v one and sometimes we will even get outnumbered four v three.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It’s getting that mindset of the players to accept those challenges and having the basics in place in terms of how to defend in wide areas and how to defend as a three against a four and not just downing tools and panicking.

“When we then win the ball back, we’ve got a man advantage, sometimes a two-man advantage. If a team plays three up, you often find the opposition plays four back, but I will go man-for-man all over the park.

“Within that, there’s responsibility and accountability because you have to be able to defend as individuals and I think I’ve got three centrals defenders here that can do that and I’m happy with how they’re developing into that mindset.

“They’re taking responsibility and being held accountable for what needs to be done. Yes, there's still an improvement needed but that will come as they play more games together.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“If you want to be an attacking team, you’ve got to be happy with your defence and the three corners of my jigsaw puzzle, in terms of the three centre-backs, I’m happy that they’re in place and they’re in the right pieces."

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.