Williams: Curle’s rotation policy is ‘frustrating’ but effective

Andy Williams
Andy Williams

Cobblers striker Andy Williams admits it has been ‘frustrating’ to be in and out of the side with such regularity over the last few weeks, but he accepts Keith Curle’s rotation policy is getting the best out of himself and his team-mates.

Williams started the first two games of Curle’s tenure, against Bury and Swindon last month, but he’s played the full 90 minutes just twice in 11 matches since Dean Austin left the club, scoring three times during that time.

I started three games on the bounce under him for the first time and personally I find it frustrating as a striker coming off as regularly as I seem to do.

He was dropped for the visit of Oldham Athletic despite playing in the 5-0 thrashing of Macclesfield four days earlier, and then returned to the bench on Saturday when Cobblers headed down to Devon to take on Exeter City in Sky Bet League.

While he did score Town’s last-minute leveller after eventually making it onto the pitch when replacing fellow striker Kevin van Veen with 19 minutes remaining he admitted it was ‘disappointing’ not to start.

“It can be frustrating but then maybe it gets the reaction that he wanted from me on Saturday,” said the 32-year-old when asked about Curle’s rotation policy.

“I started three games on the bounce under him for the first time and personally I find it frustrating as a striker coming off as regularly as I seem to do.

“You work hard in the game to get your chances in the latter stages and unfortunately in the two previous games I haven’t had a shot so it was a bit frustrating for me.

“But that’s sometimes the benefit of being on the bench. As long as you get on the pitch, you know you come on in the closing stages when there’s more chances and it can work out for you.

“It’s really keeping the lads on their toes the way he rotates. We had a 5-0 win at Macclesfield and then he changed his front two for the next game so you’ve got to be on your toes and it’s getting the best out of us.”

Saturday was the third time under Curle that the Cobblers have come from behind to either win or draw as Billy Waters and then Williams after Jake Taylor and Jayden Stockley had twice put the home side in front.

“I think we’ve shown we have character, which was something that was labelled against us earlier in the season,” added Williams.

“It was never in doubt amongst the lads that we had the character to come back in games and we have the guts to change games when it’s not going our away.

“He (Curle) shook up a few feathers in and around the club and most important he’s installed a lot of discipline into the group.

“That’s not just on match day, standards have been lifted on the training ground and that’s massively important and something I think this group needed. We’re seeing the benefits of it now.”