Keith Curle says the past week has highlighed exactly what it takes to compete at the top end of Sky Bet League Two – and he believes his Cobblers squad has the ability to adapt to every challenge.
Town claimed back-to-back wins for the first time since March as the saw off high-flying Newport County on Saturday, and then squeezed past rock-bottom Stevenage on Tuesday night.
The manner of the wins were like chalk and cheese, with the Cobblers totally dominating Newport and creating plenty of chances on their way to a 2-0 success, before being made to scrap for their narrow 1-0 victory at Broadhall Way.
Stevenage,without a win all season, dominated possession and had more opportunities, but the Cobblers took their chance when it came through a Harry Smith header, and then clung on with 10-men to seal the points once the big striker had been sent-off with more than a third of the game remaining.
“I think the two wins probably typified the division, and the different qualities and characteristics that are required to operate at the right end of the table,” said Curle.
“With the frequency of the games, it is important that in the changing room you have personnel that are able to adapt to different circumstances and different requirements, game in, game out, Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday.
“We have a changing room that is enjoying accepting challenges, and that is something we have tried to create right from when myself and the staff came in.
“We want to challenge the players, and the players are accpeting those challenges with enthusiasm.
“They are not daunted by them, they are not fearful of them, and they are prepared to put themselves out there.”
Town moved up to 10th in the table with their midweek win, and now entertain seventh-placed Crawley Town on Saturday (ko 3pm).
They will go into that game on a high and hoping to once again put on a show for the home fans, but Curle admits his players are prepared to win ugly if they have to.
“Confidence comes from results, but there are different wants of getting those results,” added the Cobblers boss.
“The pleasing thing is we have different characteristics, where if we need to dig in we can dig in, if we need to play and earn the right to play open, expansive football then we can do that.
“We want to play on the front foot, we want to play in the opposition’s final third, and when we do that we know we have a goal threat.”
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