Cobblers boss Keith Curle admits his side ‘still have a lot to work on’ despite praising their ‘concentration and focus’ in training ahead of Saturday’s improved performance at Notts County.
Curle felt his players reacted positively to the harsh words he had to say following the defeat to Port Vale, and that reflected on the pitch despite their failure to beat the struggling Magpies.
Town dominated the game, even before home goalkeeper Ryan Schofield saw red a minute after half-time, and would have taken all three points had either Dean Bowditch or Sam Hoskins found the target with excellent opportunities.
The draw at Meadow Lane was still a disappointing outcome, however, and whilst he acknowledged the progress his players have made since losing to Vale, Curle admits there’s still a long way to go.
“We carry on working and the atmosphere within the group is good and it’s focused but there’s an understanding that there are still a lot of things for us to work on,” he said.
“But the fundamentals are in place and the concentration from the players over the past week has been very, very good. They’ve listened and they’ve adhered to some of the changes that we’ve implemented but the focus has been very good.
The concentration from the players over the past week has been very, very good. They’ve listened and they’ve adhered to some of the changes that we’ve implemented.
“There are five games to go and we still need to put in performances and we need to be building a platform to take the club forward and that’s what we’re here to do.
“It takes time to get a team playing how you want and if the fundamentals are right, you have an opportunity to progress. If they’re not right, you find yourself at the wrong end of the division.”
Up next are another one of Curle’s former clubs in promotion-chasing Mansfield Town. He managed the Stags between 2002 and 2004.
“I think it’s going to be a scrap,” said Curle ahead of Saturday’s clash at the PTS. “I know what they’re going for and I know what’s at stake for them and I know how they play.
“They will be up for a scrap and my changing room will be as well. We’ll stand our ground and we’re going to make sure everything we get on the day we’ll earn and we’ll enjoy earning it.”