Curle happy to be home again as Cobblers gear up for Stevenage test

Keith Curle is happy to be back at the PTS Academy this weekend
Keith Curle is happy to be back at the PTS Academy this weekend

Keith Curle is looking forward to experiencing some home comfort as the Cobblers return to action at the PTS Academy Stadium on Saturday.

Stevenage are the visitors for Town’s first home game since drawing 2-2 with Grimsby Town on November 24, and only their second at the PTS in Sky Bet League Two since Crewe were beaten 2-0 way back on November 3.

In all, five of the Cobblers’ past six fixtures have all been on the road, with the most recent ending in a hard-fought 1-0 win at Crawley Town last Saturday.

The tables are about to be turned for Curle’s men though, as three of their next four games are on home soil, with Saturday’s match followed by the Boxing Day visit of Swindon Town and then Milton Keynes Dons coming to town on December 29.

The PTS has become a happy hunting ground for the Cobblers, who haven’t lost at home since they went down 3-1 to Cheltenham Town on September 8, and the Town boss can’t wait to get back there this weekend.

“Over the past six games we always seem to have been away,” said Curle, who has yet to experience defeat as Town manager at home.

“There is a fantastic atmosphere (at the PTS) and you can tell there is something building, and there is an undertone that says ‘go on then’.”

The Town boss will be telling his players to make the most of the current positivity at the PTS, and to make sure they ram home any sort of advantage they get.

“We were slightly disappointed with the Grimsby result because we felt that if we had got a second goal when we were 1-0 up, that could have been a different afternoon,” said the former Carlisle United boss.

“We can start games well and we have to now make sure we have that killer instinct.

“As a group we have to learn that when you have somebody by the scruff of the neck, you don’t let them go.”

And he added: “We have strengths within the squad, and we are trying to make sure that when we go into a game we are very competitive.

“We have one eye on nullifying the opposition, but ultimately the focus is on ‘these are the areas where we can potentially cause teams problems’.

“Sometimes, if the firepower doesn’t work and you walk away with a clean sheet then we accept that and use that as part of our platform.

“If you have the mentality that you don’t get beat, then that always give you the opportunity to hurt the opposition with the players we have got.”