Just one bright spot for Curle in Scunny loss - and he orders other players to take note
For the second week in a row Keith Curle could only find one player worthy of praise after a disappointing defeat - and he's told others to sit up and take note of Alan McCormack's performance against Scunthorpe United.
The 35-year-old didn't even make the starting line-up at Glanford Park but an injury to left-back Joe Martin led to his introduction after just 24 minutes.
McCormack moved into central midfield, shifting Shaun McWilliams to left-back, and he was comfortably Town's best player on a torrid afternoon as the visitors were beaten 3-0.
He controlled the second-half from the base of midfield, always making himself available for a pass and looking to keep play moving, and Curle says his performance should be an example to others.
"I thought the only player to come out of the game with credit was Alan McCormack," said the Cobblers manager afterwards. "Alan's got characteristics that other players in the changing room need to look at.
"He'll go in for a tackle, he's brave, he's commanding, he demands the ball, he wants the ball and he'll go and get on the ball. Now he's got to have that positive affect on other people."
Saturday's defeat dropped the Cobblers to 18th in Sky Bet League Two but what will concern Curle more is the way his side performed in their last two games against Leyton Orient and Scunthorpe.
"I know there's still changes to be made and changes need to happen," he added. "There's more to come and we've seen elements of what we need to work on in some of the performances.
"If you go back to some previous performances, the basics were right. Take the Newport game or the Swindon away game or the Plymouth home game, that's when the simple elements get done very well.
"Saturday was a prime example that, if you don't do the simple things, you're going to get punished."