Pierre says Cobblers players quickly adapting to boss Curle’s ideas

Aaron Pierre celebrates his goal at Oxford
Aaron Pierre celebrates his goal at Oxford

Aaron Pierre says the Cobblers squad has quickly bought into the new 3-5-2 formation they are being asked to play by manager Keith Curle.

The big central defender has played a key role in all of Curle’s matches in charge so far, being part of a back three in the draws with Bury and Swindon Town, as well as Tuesday night’s Checkatrade Trophy win at Oxford United.

The first game saw Pierre partnering Leon Barnett and Ash Taylor, but in the past two games it has been all change, as injuries have seen Shay Facey and Jordan Turnbull come into the team alongside the former Wycombe Wanderers man.

There has been a lot of change and information for the players to take on board in Curle’s first 11 days in charge, and not just in defence, but Pierre says the squad is relishing that challenge.

“I think everyone’s adjusted to the formation and liking and suiting it,” he said.

“We’re more aggressive going forward and we’re a lot more organised at the back.

“We’re working on it and making sure we do the basics properly. We don’t go out thinking we won’t defend well or we won’t try our best.

“We do our try our best and sometimes it doesn’t work out but now we’re staying organised and communicating through the back and looking to keep our shape.”

As well as helping to tighten things up at the back, Pierre managed to pop up with the winning goal against Oxford in midweek, calmly slotting home after taking down Sam Foley’s ball into the box.

It was a quality finish, but Pierre’s celebrations were muted - and he says that was simply down to the fact he wanted to quickly get back to position to make sure the team gave nothing away.

“I was fully aware of the players around me and I timed it correctly and took a good touch and it was a good finish I guess,” said Pierre.

“I went over to the manager (after scoring) and he was making sure that I get the team in shape and we stay switched on because sometimes, earlier in the season when we scored, within two or three minutes the opposition had an attempt and sometimes equalised.

“He was making sure that everyone was switched on and we positioned ourselves where we don’t get exposed.”

The second half strike was Pierre’s first in 33 appearances for the Cobblers, and he admits he is keen to make more of a contribution in the attacking third.

“It’s a bonus to get a goal but the most important thing is to organise the defence, keep a clean sheet and get the win,” he said.

“I’ve set myself a (goals) target but I’m not going to say anything because if I don’t make it I’ll be annoyed! But hopefully I will achieve it.”