Bowditch says Cobblers getting back to basics under new boss Curle

Dean Bowditch in action for the Cobblers at Oxford on Tuesday
Dean Bowditch in action for the Cobblers at Oxford on Tuesday

Cobblers midfielder Dean Bowditch believes Keith Curle’s mantra of keeping things simple and focusing on the basics has been a significant factor behind the team’s recent improved form.

Curle has already made impressive strides despite only being in the job since last Monday, overseeing respectable league draws against Swindon and Bury and then picking up just their second win of the season when Town beat Oxford United in Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy encounter.

The former England defender hasn’t been afraid to shake things up since replacing Dean Austin having immediately tweaked formation from 4-4-2 to 3-5-2 while regularly making personnel changes from game to game.

Bowditch earned his first start under Curle on Tuesday and after the 2-1 victory at Grenoble Road, he gave an insight into how Curle works on the training ground.

“I think he’s simplified things a lot,” he explained. “Doing the basics is important and doing them really well and without thinking is what he wants us to get to.

“He’s started off by drilling that into us in training and we’ve taken it on-board and I think we’ll only improve those basics as we go along and we’ll hurt teams because we’ve got the quality there all over the pitch.

“When you focus on the basics, it simplifies the game and that’s what he’s focused on at the moment. We’re working on that and we’ve improved quickly and now we can kick-on.”

Northampton’s success on Tuesday was the first time they’ve recovered from a losing position and won since their home victory over Walsall last December.

James Henry gave Oxford the lead at half-time but Kevin van Veen and Aaron Pierre turned the game on its head in the second-half.

“I thought we were so unlucky to go behind,” added Bowditch. “We started the game really well and we stuck to our game plan but then they got a lucky goal with the deflection.

“We regrouped at half-time and said that we’ve just got to keep doing what we set out to do and we just didn’t do that, we improved on it and we got what we deserved.

“Every player has their own resilience within them. I feel at times this season we’ve huffed and puffed to try and get back into a game and maybe we haven’t quite had the luck.

“The first few games we played really well but we just didn’t perform in the last few games under Dean and it wasn’t good enough.

“We’ve had a spruce up now and we’ve started well under the new manager and we’re all happy with the win.”

Bowditch played in the free role against Oxford where he picked up space between Town’s midfield and front two, although he says Curle is yet to nail down a regular position for most players as he gets to know his new squad.

“He said when he came in he wants to look at everyone over the first few weeks so hopefully everyone gets their chance because we’ve got a great group of lads and a lot of quality in the squad,” Bowditch continued.

“He’s only been here a week so he’s got a lot of work to do and he’s got to get around to everyone and speak to everyone.

“He’ll then make his decisions from there in terms of what he wants to do going forward.”