'Guile' and 'aggression' missing from wasteful Cobblers - boss Curle

Cobblers boss Keith Curle wants to see more 'guile' and 'aggression' from his team after seeing them waste numerous opportunities during their season-opening 1-0 defeat to Walsall on Saturday.

Saturday, 3rd August 2019, 7:02 pm
Keith Curle was a frustrated man after his side's loss to Walsall. Picture: Pete Norton

Saddlers captain James Clarke headed home the only goal of the game on 14 minutes but Town created enough opportunities to at least take a point, only to be repeatedly denied by visiting goalkeeper Liam Roberts.

Roberts produced excellent stops from Sam Hoskins and Andy Williams in particular while Harry Smith was also guilty of failing to hit the target when chances presented themselves.

"I think the supporters would have seen our threat and what we're trying to do - get the ball into wide areas and put it into the box," said Curle.

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"It's very simplistic and we had enough first contacts in the box to get goals today. The pleasing thing for us is that the opposition goalkeeper has probably been man of the match.

"We just needed that extra bit of guile and extra aggression and understanding that the ball is coming into the box.

"Enough balls were put into the box, we won enough first contacts, including from set-pieces, and the movement was good but the end product of putting the ball into the net wasn't there."

On Clarke's winning goal, which came from a poorly-defended set-piece, Curle added: "We've got a routine from an outswinging corner where we've got to take an extra yard out because there is a weakness in zonal marking but we believe in it and the understanding will grow.

"You do it on a Thursday, you do it on a Friday and then, in the heat of battle, players don't take that extra yard and then it's about accountability and understanding which will come.

"The ball came into an area we should be occupying and negate the ball that comes in."