Players told 'a few home truths' at half-time on U's win as Curle accepts Cobblers must still improve - reaction + highlights
If Cobblers players were expecting a gentle half-time team talk when they took a 2-0 lead into the break against Cambridge United on Saturday, they had another thing coming.
The scoreline suggested Town were in control of the contest but the scoreline alone wasn't enough to fool manager Keith Curle, who did not take too kindly to his team's first-half performance.
"To be honest it took us 20 minutes to get going and to get the fundamentals of the game right," he said. "We didn't get close enough to them in the first-half.
"At half-time I think the players might have expected to be told well done and get pats on the back but they got told a few home truths because in my mind we weren't at it.
"We were't doing the basics and the fundamentals that would have given us a foothold in the game.
"The information we gave to the players was given honestly because we needed to get closer to them and we needed to stop them from playing.
"We also needed to hurt them when we had good possession of the ball because I thought we looked a threat in behind them and over the top."
Curle was less critical of his side's second-half showing as they comfortably held on for their third successive 2-0 victory, given to them by Harry Smith's well-taken strike and an own goal from George Taft.
The three points lifted Cobblers to eighth and five points behind third in Sky Bet League Two but Curle is certainly not getting carried away just yet.
"I still think there's more to come from us and there's definitely room for improvement," he admitted.
"I said about this being a building season and we're still putting down the fundamentals because we're still not rolling them out naturally.
"But that's where they're learning and developing and that's where the coaching comes in."