Keith Curle has again reminded his players that their performances between now and the end of the season will determine whether or not they stay on his ‘journey’ with the Cobblers.
Town were beaten 3-2 by Cambridge United at the weekend and are now just six points above the relegation zone in Sky Bet League Two.
The changing room, the players and the footballing department have to be on board and must have the belief, the focus and the desire to stay on the journey as long as possible.
Aaron Pierre and Junior Morias scored in each half but the Cobblers were out-of-sorts at the Abbey Stadium and deservedly beaten as Jevani Brown, George Taft and David Amoo turned things around for Cambridge.
Curle has already offloaded five players this month, cancelling Yaser Kasim’s contract, selling Matt Crooks and Kevin van Veen to higher-level clubs, sending goalkeeper Lewis Ward back to Reading and allowing Billy Waters to go out on loan to Cheltenham Town.
There’s only been one incoming so far – George Cox from Brighton – but Curle has warned his players that their futures are on the line over the remaining 18 games of the campaign.
“Every game between now and the end of the season is important for different reasons and for every single individual as well,” he said.
“The players are playing to stay on this journey because, as a football club, we will go on a journey. The changing room, the players and the footballing department have to be on board and must have the belief, the focus and the desire to stay on the journey as long as possible.
“We know this will be a long season but we’re ready for it and we see it as a challenge. No-one has shied away from that challenge.”
A spate of injuries meant Curle had to name a patched-up young team at Cambridge on Saturday, including a central midfield of 18-year-old Jay Wiilliams and 17-year-old debutant Scott Pollock.
But the Town manager will not be forced to change his plans in this month’s transfer window despite being without a single fit senior central midfielder at present.
Curle added: “Now’s not the right time to be talking about recruitment. I don’t suddenly start thinking about improving the squad when you get to January 1.
“From day one since I came in, I’ve been trying to identify what’s in the building and then having an eye on shaping what’s in the building, what I need and also making sure that what I want to bring in has a short, medium and long-term view to improving us.
“We know where are, we know where we want to get to and it’s a journey and there’s a lot of people on board with what we want to do.”