Northampton Town manager Keith Curle appears to be enjoying life at Sixfields Stadium.
The Cobblers endured a miserable start to being back in League Two after relegation last summer, but Curle has steadied the ship and slowly bought an improvement in results since he took over from Dean Austin at the end of September.
Austin left Northampton fourth from bottom with only one win in their opening ten games, but they now sit eleventh and are currently unbeaten in eight League Two matches.
Speaking on the club’s official website, ahead of his team’s trip to face Cheltenham Town on Saturday, Curle paid tribute to his player’s focus and hailed an improved connection between the club and its supporters. He said. ‘The focus within the group is the next game.’
‘That focus hasn’t changed since the day I first walked through the door at the football club and each game is an opportunity for us to get three points.’
‘The players are enjoying the challenge, and I think with the games we’ve had the players have gained a good point’s haul.’
‘I think there is a definite connect now from the players to the staff, the supporters and the club infrastructure and everybody is coming on board with an understanding of what we are trying to produce on the field.’
Cheltenham also made a management change this season with former Burnley U-23 coach Michael Duff taking over from the experienced Gary Johnson after just four games. The Robins fortunes have since improved, especially at home where they are unbeaten in their last six, winning five and drawing one as they too have risen the table to seventeenth.
Curle was looking forward to visiting the Gloucestershire club and was expecting a tough match. He said. “It is a very enjoyable and friendly ground. You are always made to feel welcome and if you look at their recent home record over the last few months is pretty good.’
‘They are a confident bunch who are playing well, and the manager has been on a learning curve this season finding out how to mould and shape a team to compete in this division. It does take time, but I think he is enjoying his work.’
Northampton Town have spent much of their history moving between League’s One and Two and in Keith Curle, they have appointed a manager with a wealth of experience at this level who can once again get them promoted.
Their miserable start to life back in League Two means a playoff challenge is probably beyond them this season, but if Curle is allowed to improve the squad in the summer, I expect them to make a determined challenge to get back in the third tier next campaign.