Hard work the best cure for Cobblers as Curle demands big improvement in four ‘key aspects’

Keith Curle. Picture: Pete Norton
Keith Curle. Picture: Pete Norton

Keith Curle believes hard work is the best remedy for his side’s troubles as the Cobblers bid to make amends for last week’s calamity against Port Vale with an improved performance and positive result at struggling Notts County on Saturday.

Northampton have been hard at work in training this week, desperate to put right the mistakes made in their defeat to Vale and bounce back with a far better display at the second-from-bottom Magpies, who are embroiled in a three-way scrap to avoid relegation.

Some of our game understanding is still poor, some of our decision-making is still poor and some of the fundamentals are still not in place but what we have to do is work on improving.

“We’re very much in work mode,” said Curle. “Myself, the players and my staff still haven’t forgotten the disappointment and the frustration from Saturday.

“But what we do is we work and we work to improve the areas that I feel that we’re lacking in, not only on Saturday but previous games as well.

“Some of our game understanding is still poor, some of our decision-making is still poor and some of the fundamentals are still not in place but what we have to do is work on improving.”

Following a four-game winning run at the end of February and start of March, Town have failed to win any of their last three, drawing with Grimsby Town and losing to both Cheltenham and Port Vale, all teams who remain below them in the table.

And whilst they have nothing tangible left to play for over the remaining six games of the season, Curle has demanded an improvement from his players in all areas.

“We’re working on all the key aspects,” he said. “There’s improvement to be made in every one of the departments – tactical, physical, mental and technical – and that’s part of my job, being accountable for all those departments.

“They’re here to work, develop and improve. It doesn’t matter if it’s the start of August or coming into April, this environment is not only here individually but collectively and it’s here for people who want to develop.

“The harder you work the luckier you get and, likewise, hard work will beat talent when talent doesn’t work hard and last Saturday was a prime example of that - I didn’t think we worked hard enough and therefore we didn’t get our rewards.

“Every day is an opportunity to improve and that’s what we’re doing.”