Opposition view: Curle angry at Oldham's 'unacceptable' first-half performance against his old club
'We made them look average in the second-half but in the first-half they made us look worse than average. It was unacceptable.'
Oldham head coach Keith Curle was left seething at his side's 'unacceptable' first-half performance during Tuesday's 2-1 defeat to Northampton.
Curle's return to Sixfields looked to be going horribly wrong when goals from Jon Guthrie and Kion Etete helped Cobblers ease into a 2-0 lead.
But the struggling Latics were unlucky not to take a point after dominating the second-half with Carl Piergianni's goal ultimately in vain.
Curle remained angry at how his side started the game, keeping his players locked in the dressing room for over an hour after the full-time whistle.
"We lost it in the first-half," lamented the former Town boss. "The players just didn't turn up.
"They thought they could just roll out a performance like they did on Saturday but there was a lack of understanding in terms of what we did well in that game against Port Vale.
"We had fight and we had energy on Saturday but we didn't have any of that in the first-half and you can't give any team a two-goal headstart.
"The second-half shows it's there and I think that is the frustrating thing for me because we need to turn up for 90, 95 minutes.
"We need more character because there's nothing wrong with competing and when we do compete, we're not a bad team.
"As the manager, I need more from my players and I will demand more and if somebody doesn't deliver, I will tell them.
"If somebody hasn't competed and hasn't gone into tackles, they need to be told and tonight, as a group, we did not turn up for 45 minutes.
"We made them look average in the second-half but in the first-half they made us look worse than average. It was unacceptable.
"Players need to come out of their shell because you can't just tiptoe into games - how about we start on the front foot and upset a few teams and do the ugly side of the game?
"You then earn the right to play. There's nothing wrong with that - good players who have had good careers do it."