Boss Curle very happy with Cobblers’ fitness levels

The Cobblers conceded a late equaliser in the 2-2 draw with Grimsby Town
The Cobblers conceded a late equaliser in the 2-2 draw with Grimsby Town

Boss Keith Curle insists the fitness levels of his Cobblers squad are as good as any team in Sky Bet League Two.

Town’s past two home games have seen them frustratingly squander points from winning positions against both Grimsby Town and Stevenage, with the opposition scoring late equalisers.

Keith Curle

Keith Curle

In both matches, the Cobblers appeared to struggle to maintain the high tempo they started the games at, and sat deeper and deeper as the matches went on, which invited pressure.

The performances raised concerns among some observers about whether the fitness levels of the squad were up to those required to play the brand of football Curle wants them to, but the manager insists there is no problem on that front.

“The fitness levels are very good at the football club, and the strength and conditioning department is excellent,” said Curle.

“If you have a look at the goals conceded they haven’t been down to fitness, sometimes it is down to decision making.

“We train harder here than they probably have for a while, and we probably train for longer, and the level we train at is more intense. That does take a period of adjustment but the players have bought into it very well and they are enjoying it

Cobblers boss Keith Curle

“Some people may say that you make better decisions the fitter you are, but sometimes the decisions you make are based on how we train, bearing in mind I don’t traing people to make some of the mistakes they make!

“But I am very pleased with our fitness levels, and I think if you put us up against anybody in this division then I think our levels will be very near the top on commitment and ability.”

Curle did admit he has been pushing the players hard since he took the managerial reins at the beginning of October, but feels the squad has taken the upturn in workload in their stride.

“The players are adapting to a new training regime,” said the Cobblers boss.

“We train harder here than they probably have for a while, and we probably train for longer, and the level we train at is more intense.

“That does take a period of adjustment but the players have bought into it very well and they are enjoying it.”

The Cobblers return to Sky Bet League Two action on Saturday when they travel to struggling Yeovil Town.

John-Joe O’Toole is likely to be the only player unavailable due to injury, having only returned to training this week from the bone bruising that has kept him out of action since last month.