Jones impresses on debut as 'meticulous' set-piece work pays off again for Cobblers

Work on the training pitch bears fruit in Macc victory

Monday, 3rd February 2020, 11:42 am
Updated Monday, 3rd February 2020, 11:44 am
Lloyd Jones wins a header. Picture: Pete Norton

Cobblers' 'meticulous' set-piece preparation on the training pitch once again proved its value against Macclesfield Town on Saturday when the only goal of the game was scored from a corner.

With 59 minutes gone at Moss Rose, Nicky Adams' delivery was attacked by Charlie Goode and the ball dropped to Callum Morton, who was in the right place at the right time to snatch three vital away points for the Cobblers.

Town have scored 13 goals directly from set-pieces this season, the joint-second most in the division behind Salford City (14).

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"Set-pieces is something a lot of players don't like because it's that extra 45 minutes and extra hour after training on Thursdays and Fridays when you've worked on the shape," said Keith Curle.

"But we are meticulous and we are regimented in what we do and the pleasing thing is that the new lads have come in and absorbed the information we've given them very quickly.

"We did it on the pitch and we did it with the analyst so all the players know their roles and know their responsibilities and it's not all about winning the first contact, it's the second phase and getting players in the right areas."

Curle handed full debuts to Mark Marshall, Callum Morton and Lloyd Jones at Macclesfield and all three played a part in their hard-fought 1-0 victory.

"Good players can pick up different systems and different set-pieces very quickly and the three new lads fitted in very well," added Curle.

"They didn't look out of place in our team making their debuts and that's down to the welcome of our group. The strength of our foundation means when new players come in, they get onboard with what we're trying to create.

"They've been brought in with specific areas that they can add to us with their skill sets, but all within our framework."

Jones had only one training session before starting in Town's three-man defence at Moss Rose.

"Lloyd came in with a very solid performance," continued Curle. "He did what needed to be done.

"He was brave by stepping into play. It might be slightly unfamiliar for him because we're brave and inside him we will go one v one and we will go two v two.

"That's because we want him to be on the front foot and win second balls and stop counter-attacks at source.

"He's got good distribution and good understanding of the game and he's a good header in both boxes, but the kid can defend as well."