Cobblers boss Keith Curle admits it took ‘a little bit of time’ for players to buy into his methods but, now that they are, the team are reaping the rewards on the pitch.
From losing 4-0 at home to Colchester United just a month ago and lingering seven points above relegation, the Cobblers have recorded victories at Tranmere Rovers, Stevenage and Crewe Alexandra, in addition to a draw with league leaders Lincoln City and a home stalemate against Crawley Town.
What you want is to get a collection of players buying into it and then that spreads and it takes away the anxiety, the nervousness and we try to make it as simple as possible.
That run of results has steered them well clear of the bottom two and in with a strong shout of grabbing a top half finish in League Two, possibly even close to the play-offs should they end the season strongly.
But why have Town suddenly found their form? “When you walk into a football club, you’re trying to create a new environment and a new culture and it doesn’t happen overnight,” said Curle.
“Sometimes you need to bring in new personnel and sometimes there needs to be an adjustment of personnel already in the building. The buying in of players and the understanding of the little intricacies that I try to implement, sometimes it takes players a little bit of time to adhere to them, naturally.
“What you want is to get a collection of players buying into it and then that spreads and it takes away the anxiety, the nervousness and we try to make it as simple as possible.
“These are the guidelines and these are the focuses that are needed and it’s spreading. The environment is growing and more people are buying into it. They get a rest but the work ethic when they come in is very pleasing.”
Things could have turned ugly after the defeat to Colchester but, instead, it’s been a springboard for Town’s best period of the season, which included Saturday’s accomplished win at Crewe Alexandra.
“We analyse games over 94, 95 minutes,” added Curle. “We don’t just focus on the scoreline. Scorelines are obviously important but the performances of individuals and as a collective are also important.
“Within that game against Colchester, there’d have been no complaints had it finished 4-4 or 4-2 to us. We don’t beat ourselves up because of the scoreline, although of course we don’t like getting beat.
“On Saturday, we were given a foundation to build off and the defensive element of the team was spot on.
“Daniel Powell, Sam Hoskins, JJ and Marvin Sordell were integral parts of the defensive shape that we wanted to build from and that shows good understanding, good willingness and good desire to be a part of a defensive team when we’re out of possession, knowing that those players have got licence to express themselves once we do get on the ball.”