Frustrated Cobblers boss Curle left to rue trio of 'missed opportunities'
Keith Curle has spoken of his frustration at the Cobblers' 'missed opportunities' over the course of the past three weeks.
In their past three matches Town have claimed just two points from a possible nine, throwing away 2-0 leads against both Crawley Town and Morecambe, and then slumping to a limp 1-0 home defeat to lowly Leyton Orient on Saturday.
They are three disappointing results that have left the Cobblers sitting 14th in the Sky Bet League Two table.
They are five points off the play-off places and eight off the top three, and Curle knows that is a picture that could and should be looking a lot rosier today.
"I think it's fair to say that Saturday was another missed opportunity," said the Cobblers boss, looking back at the 1-0 defeat to the Os.
"If you calculate the points we should have had against Crawley, and against Morecambe.
"Then on Saturday there was a game we should have been more competitive in, and had the opportunity to get points against Leyton Orient.
"We could now be very comfortably sitting where we think we need to be."
As it is, Town are still very much not where they want to be and Curle has reiterated his belief that the players have to start upping their game, particularly when the ball gets into the opposition's final third.
He believes they are only showing glimpses of what they are capable of and that they have to work harder to get things right.
"Frustration is a good word, and it is very frustrating at the moment," said the Cobblers boss.
"We are showing glimpses, but we are not maintaining it and that is where the key is.
"There are little intricacies within individuals, within their game, that we need to get honed in so we are all on the same page.
"So it is the goalkeeper kicking the ball into the right areas, making the first contact that we want, and then the right people challenging or landing on second balls.
"I was looking at the stats, and on Saturday Harry Smith won 16 headers from Dai's kicks, but we only got possession from that header on two occasions, and that's not enough.
"So it is those little intricacies and stats that we are looking at, because we are getting entries into the final third, but we are not being calm enough in possession in the final third, and are not being creative enough.
"When we do get in there we are too rushed, and sometimes it is also about poor technique.
"We had a couple of crossing opportunities on Saturday and the ball ended up hitting the first man or going behind the goal, and that is not good enough."