FA Cup run won't distract Cobblers from their promotion bid

Cobblers boss Keith Curle insists the club's run to the fourth-round of the FA Cup will not distract them in their bid to win promotion out of Sky Bet League Two this season.

Thursday, 9th January 2020, 11:40 am
Updated Thursday, 9th January 2020, 11:41 am
Nicky Adams opened the scoring at Burton

Town have made impressive progress in the FA Cup after beating Chippenham Town, Notts County and Burton Albion, making them one of only two League Two clubs still left in the competition.

But a run in the cup means extra fixtures and therefore a busier schedule, with two league games - at Cheltenham and Leyton Orient - now being switched to midweek.

There's also the small matter of drawing Wayne Rooney's Derby County in the fourth-round to contend with later in the month, however Curle believes the old mantra of one game at a time will be adhered to by his players.

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"The pleasing thing we've had so far this season is that we set the players challenges and the Derby County fixture won't be any different because it'll be a challenge," he said.

"But Salford on Saturday will also be a challenge for the players and the players have been very good at accepting the next challenge and getting a full understanding of how we work our week.

"The information and the briefings we give the players are structured towards the next opposition. We never, ever talk about previous games - win, lose or draw - and we never talk about a game after the next fixture.

"It's all about what we do individually and collectively in the next game and the focus this week is very much on Salford."

After being cheered on by 1,500 fans at Burton in the FA Cup, the Cobblers are expected to take another fine following up to Greater Manchester this weekend.

“The fans have a massive role and you could tell that on Sunday,” continued Curle. “You get the feeling there’s a unity growing and a connection growing between the players and fans.

“It’s difficult at the start of the season because there were a lot of new players that came in and a lot of supporters would have gone to find out the profile of the players.

“They didn’t have that identity but now I think they’ve got that and with it comes a demand that supporters put on players because they know what’s expected.

“Once you get that identity and that unity from the terraces to the pitch, you’re on the same path.”