Manager Keith Curle says he has been so impressed by Northampton’s ‘infrastructure’ and ‘organisation’ behind the scenes that he wishes he joined the club ‘two seasons ago’.
Curle came in at a time when the Cobblers were just about rock-bottom on the pitch, languishing near the wrong end of the Sky Bet League Two table just three months on from a torrid season in League One which ended in relegation.
It was only in 2016 when Chris Wilder led Town to a famous title triumph, but it’s been all downhill since as managers have come and gone with increasing regularity, at least until Curle steadied the ship following his appointment in October.
A recent run of seven games unbeaten and four wins in a row have, at the very least, ensured the Cobblers will be playing EFL football again next season, but Curle believes the club have everything in place behind the scenes to aim much higher.
“We’ve only had five defeats in 27 league games,” said Curle. “There’s been a few draws in there but we’ve joined a football club that’s got a very good structure in place and the organisation behind the scenes is very good.
“What they’ve allowed me to do is gradually put my stamp on the philosophy that I need in the changing room.
The work I do with the football club is for the benefit of the club and the team but also the supporters. I want that connection with the supporters.
“There wasn’t a winning mentality in the changing room but we had to create a mentality that we don’t get beat and I think that’s been adhered to.
“The longer we stay together, the playing philosophy will grow. But it all starts with solid foundations at the club and that’s allowing a manager and the coaches to do their job and that’s all in place here.
“It’s not until you’ve been a manager at a few clubs that you are understand the foundations but this club gives you the opportunity to do your job. Some of the other jobs I’ve had, the other issues you’re dealing with can distract you.
“What I’m enjoying about here is focusing solely on performances and that’s massively important. The football club has a solid foundation and now we want the footballing department to match that and build from there.”
Asked if he wished he joined the Cobblers at the start of the season instead of 10 games in, Curle replied: “I wish I had been here two seasons ago!
“But I’m enjoying it. There was a challenge laid down because the club were operating at the wrong end of the division, but there’s an infrastructure in place that can see the club operate up a division again.”
Curle has not always had the complete backing of supporters during his tenure at the PTS, particularly during a wobble either side of Christmas, but Town’s fine recent form has lifted spirits again.
“The supporters have been excellent,” Curle continued. “I’m not the most animated on the side of the pitch because I try to keep my focus but at the end of the game, that’s when I have that slight release and I want that connection with the supporters.
“The work I do with the football club is for the benefit of the club and the team but also the supporters. There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes and a lot of good work that probably doesn’t get mentioned.”