Curle delighted as Cobblers show resilience to post back-to-back comeback wins
Boss Keith Curle has praised the resilience of his players after the Cobblers posted back-to-back comeback victories in the space of five days.
After going more than 10 months without winning a match from a losing position, Town managed to do it twice in less than a week.
First up, Oxford United were beaten in the Checkatrade Trophy last Tuesday, and then on Saturday Forest Green Rovers were dispatched 2-1 in the Sky Bet League Two, with the Cobblers having been trailing 1-0 at half-time in both matches.
Mental fragility was something that was discussed a lot in the final weeks of Dean Austin’s reign as boss, with the team on many occasions responding poorly to setbacks in matches.
Well Curle seems to have turned things around in the space of a few weeks, with the wins coming off the back of league draws with Bury and Swindon Town, and the new manager felt he knew he was getting a reaction fron his players in that County Ground stalemate.
“It (resilience) is one of the pillars you want to put in place, and I think the first reaction we had was at Swindon,” said Curle.
“We went ahead in the first place, and then Swindon scored, but the response from the players was pleasing.
“It wasn’t a case of ‘oh, it’s a goal conceded, it’s all going to fall apart’, there was a resilience there and we saw the game out very well, and could have got something extra out of it.
“Again, we did the same against Oxford. The response in the changing room from the players was positive, and that is what you want.
“On Saturday (against Forest Green) it was the same again.
“On 43 minutes they go and score, so you are going in at half-time thinking you are going to walk into a changing room with negative faces and a negative atmosphere.
“I always leave the players on their own for four or five minutes just so they get their own time to focus and calm their emotions, and it’s the same for myself.
“Then I go in with a clear mind, and I said to them that we have the wind and everything is going to be in our favour, and when we get the goal then let me tell you, we will get another one, and we did.
“We started the second half on the front foor, got territorial advantage and penned them in.
“We played against a very good passing team who are used to playing together, used to getting results, and very much used to not losing, but we caused them problems.”
Indeed they did, with Aaron Pierre equalising before Andy Williams scored his first goal for the club deep into stoppage time to spark wild celebrations at the PTS Academy Stadium.
The players, fans coaching staff and an exuberant Curle weren’t shy in showing their delight as the final whistle confirmed a first home win of the season for Town, and the Town boss was impressed with the outpouring of emotion.
“I am not going to advocate pitch invasions week in, week out, but I fully understand the emotions the football club has been going through after the expectations, and the disappointments for a period of time,” said Curle, who takes Town to Stadium MK to take on Milton Keynes Dons on Saturday.
“It was fantastic to be part of the celebrations on Saturday, and I have an understanding of why the supporters showed that amount of emotion.
“The pleasing thing was the players appreciated it, valued it, and were a massive part of it.”