'We know we can give them problems' - Keith Curle on how Cobblers will approach cup clash against Derby County

Cobblers boss Keith Curle says his side must not get sucked into playing Derby County at their own game during tonight's FA Cup fourth round tie.

Friday, 24th January 2020, 11:32 am
Updated Friday, 24th January 2020, 12:25 pm
Keith Curle

The two teams go into the game in similarly excellent form, both unbeaten in six matches across all competitions with four wins and two draws.

But the visitors, who last played in the Premier League in 2007/08, have a squad full of international quality and are odds-on favourites to progress to the fifth round.

So, given the 37 places between the teams, how will Curle approach the game?

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"There's two different schools of thought," he said. "You can try and contain them and you can try and fill gaps and fill holes and make sure they don't create overloads and you defend areas you think they want to work in.

"Or you give them problems. There are things we're good at when we're on the front foot and we play and we ask questions of the opposition.

"We show them respect but the biggest respect you can show somebody is by getting close to them.

"If you stand off them and ask them to hit a pass and break us open, they have the quality in their team to cause you massive problems.

"But can we get them facing their own goal? Can we put balls in the areas that they don't like to compete with? If we do, that gives us a chance.

"If we play them at their game, they've got better players than us. If we can get Derby to play our game, we know we've got players that can give them problems."

While there might be a different in quality between the two sides this evening, one area that Town must match Derby for is their work ethic.

That's not a concern for Curle, who added: "We enjoy working hard as a time and nobody can take that away from us. The attitude and the application of the players has been first-class.

"We set the players challenges, individually and collectively, and we will face challenges on Friday night but we won't shy away from them.

"It's about working hard, enjoying working hard and knowing that's part of our DNA and that gives us an opportunity against anybody."