‘Robust’ Stevenage are going to be a tough nut to crack, warns Cobblers boss Curle

Stevenage midfielder Joel Byrom (second from right) is set to return to Sixfields for the first time since leaving the Cobblers
Stevenage midfielder Joel Byrom (second from right) is set to return to Sixfields for the first time since leaving the Cobblers

Keith Curle has warned his Cobblers team they will be coming up against a ‘very robust’ Stevenage outfit at the PTS Academy Stadium on Saturday (ko 3pm).

The Boro travel to Northampton sitting in 10th place in Sky Bet League Two, and just three points off the promotion play-off places.

Keith Curle

Keith Curle

But Dino Maamria’s side arrive at the PTS having lost five of their past six games in all competitions, and having lost four in in a row away from home.

Their one win in recent matches was an impressive one, seeing off Milton Keynes Dons 3-2, but Curle believes they will be travelling this weekend simply with the mindset of making sure they are hard to beat.

“I think Stevenage had a very good start to the season, when they were operating in the top four or five,” said the Cobblers boss.

“They are very robust, and with the manager and coach they have there they will be a very fit unit.

“They have been able to get some good results, they are very well organised and have good application, a willingness to work, and they have a few players there that I know personally as well.

“It will be a tough game as they are going to be difficult to beat, difficult to break down and they will come here with the mindset of not losing.”

The Cobblers are on a seven-match unbeaten run at the PTS, having not lost at home since September 3.

They drew 2-2 against Grimsby Town in their most recent home game, and Curle knows they are going to have to take the game to Stevenage.

“The onus will be on us to break them down, because I think they will be happy to come here and play it tight,” said the Town manager.

“They are not dissimilar to ourselves, and at the end of the match if their result ends in a nil behind our name they will be happy.

“The fundamentals within their game plan will be shutting up shop, and not entering into a game of football.”

Former Cobblers player Joel Byrom, one of the title-winning class of 2016, is set to start in central midfield for The Boro, while another ex-Town man, Alex Revell, is likely to lead the attacking line.

Both players will be making their first returns to their former Sixfields home since their departures.