Focus on Cardiff cup tie for Cobblers after final friendly is cancelled

Keith CurleKeith Curle
Keith Curle
Town were due to visit Chesterfield on Tuesday

Cobblers have turned attentions to Saturday's Carabao Cup first-round tie against Cardiff City after their final pre-season friendly, due to be played at David Buchanan's Chesterfield on Tuesday, was cancelled.

Keith Curle's side have only played two official friendlies in pre-season, although they did host behind-closed-doors matches against the club's youth team and West Brom U23s.

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After losing 3-0 at home to Luton Town on Saturday, Cobblers have a week of training to get themselves ready for Saturday's cup tie with the Bluebirds.

"We had a game pencilled in for Tuesday," manager Keith Curle revealed. "We were due to play Chesterfield but they're still on phase one of their return-to-training protocol.

"They've not had enough time to get into phase two and get the players up to speed whereby they want to play a competitive.

"So we've had to cancel that game but it gives us another opportunity to work amongst ourselves because there are a lot of phases of play that we're working on."

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Although he'd have preferred to play another fixture before going into the new season, Curle will look to make the most of the extra training sessions.

"We've got new players that are coming into the group now," he added. "You saw from the first 55 minutes to an hour on Saturday that we're gaining that understanding and that familiarity with the players in terms of their roles and responsibilities.

"You need that competitive edge and you need those competitive games, but we replicate it in training. We're where we need to be and we're happy with the first-half performance on Saturday, but we know we need to improve our strength in depth."