Keith Curle has warned his squad he will not tolerate any ‘negativity’ from players complaining about their lack of game-time as he stressed the importance of ‘unity’ after Saturday’s heavy loss to Colchester United.
Seven players left the Cobblers during the January transfer window but with five arriving, all on loan, Curle still has a sizeable squad to pick from, leaving plenty of room for unhappy fringe players frustrated by their lack of game-time.
I’ll back the changing room to make sure we establish enough points to maintain survival in this division, which is the aim this season and that hasn’t changed.
Curle hinted there were a few disgruntled players after Saturday’s defeat, saying ‘noses have been put out of joint’ because certain individuals were not selected, either in the starting XI or on the bench.
“When you have a squad of 23 or 24 and you name a team, there’s going to be a few people that are disappointed and that disappointment could turn into a negative, but I collect the negativity and that’s the message,” said the Town boss.
“This is the job. It’s not an easy job when you’re dealing with a changing room that, on the whole, is a very honest changing room. They need that support and direction and encouragement that I will give them.
“We need unity and the unity starts with me by getting players in the changing room on board and keeping them on board and making sure they stay focused.
“It’s about dealing with any negativity that comes from people that aren’t playing from poor results, but it’s part and parcel of football that teams are going to draw and lose and it’s about the reaction after those results.
“I’ll back the changing room to make sure we establish enough points to maintain survival in this division, which is the aim this season and that hasn’t changed and my belief in the job we’re doing hasn’t changed.”
Curle described his side’s loss to Colchester as a ‘slap in the face’ – and it gets no easier for Town this week with trips to Tranmere Rovers and league leaders Lincoln City in the space of four days.
“Sometimes what you need is a kick up the backside and a slap in the face,” he added.
“We’ve got two tough away games against good teams but Colchester were a good team with pace, power and clinical finishing.
“Players want to do well. It’s about roles and responsibilities and understanding danger and making sure you’re brave enough to do your job and put demands on other players to make sure they’re doing their jobs as well.”