Delighted Curle hails 'brave and resolute' Cobblers after tense Latics win

Cobblers boss Keith Curle was delighted with the 'determination and bravery' on show from his side after they survived almost an hour with 10 men in defeating Oldham Athletic 2-1 on Saturday.

Saturday, 27th October 2018, 6:45 pm
Updated Saturday, 27th October 2018, 10:40 pm
HAPPY KEITH: Town boss Curle and goalkeeping coach Dan Watson celebrate Saturday's nervy victory. Picture: Sharon Lucey

John-Joe O'Toole's header gave Town a somewhat fortunate lead on 36 minutes but their joy was punctured almost immediately when Sam Foely was controversially sent off just six minutes later for a late challenge.

Crucially, though, the Cobblers scored a second before half-time through Kevin van Veen's equally disputed penalty and despite Robert Hunt pulling back during a second-half dominated by Oldham, the hosts defended superbly to clinch their fourth win from five games in all competitions.

"I'm delighted," said Curle. "We had to show a different side to us today but we're going to need that.

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"They got asked a lot of questions today but they were resolute, brave, determined and attentive to the information that we gave them.

"The changing room is adaptable. They've got ability and got an understanding of the game and it's down to me to pick what I think is the right formation to give opposition problems."

Cobblers were slow out of the blocks at the start of Saturday's game - as noted by Curle - but that did come as any great surprise to the Town boss after Tuesday's emphatic 5-0 win at Macclesfield Town.

He added: "A slow start was expected by myself and the staff because you go away and score a hatful of goals and everyone enjoys the rewards and then it's a new game.

"We needed to get into our stride. I was very, very pleased to be 2-0 up at half-time because we didn't really deserve it on the balance of play.

"We didn't do the basics and didn't get territorial advantage and spin them and give them problems. Once we did that in the latter stages, we got the rewards with the set-pieces and the two goals.

"That was an indication that the rewards are there if you put the ball into good areas at the start of the game rather than feeling your way into it.

"You have to earn the right to play your football rather than just thinking you can go out there and play because you beat Macclesfield 5-0.

"There was an air of disappointment in the first 20 or 25 minutes but I knew it was coming."