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The Cobblers boss on the development of young players

9 October 2019

Northampton Town manager Keith Curle praised a number of individuals who are developing their games as he reflected on Tuesday's Leasing.Com Trophy win at Cambridge United.

Harry Smith's first half goal secured the group stage win for the Cobblers, and Curle said there were a number of individual performances that offered encouragement, and he spoke first about the young central midfield pairing of Scott Pollock and Shaun McWilliams.

Both players are locally born, and both came through the club's Academy and Football & Education programme infrastructure.

"They are very different players but they both did well," said the Cobblers boss.

"Scott is a ball player and Shaun is more of a terrier but you need both sides of the game in your team. You also need both sides of the game as an individual player. You need that energy, that desire, that willingess to go and get the ball and then you need that composure and that quality to use the ball well when you get it back. Both of them can improve further by working the other aspect of that game and that is where our development work with them is. We are working with Shaun on his side of the game when he is on the ball, while the work with Scott is to be a little stronger and more agggressive out of possession but that is part of their learning and part of their development and they both did very well on Tuesday.

"Harry Smith showed an excellent work ethic and took his goal very well. Andy Williams showed a fantastic attitude to adapt to a slightly different role but I thought he did that very well too. With Harry, sometimes his eagerness to score gets him in to false positions. We are working with him to time his runs, to not arrive too early, and that is part of our development work with him but in coaches like David Kelly and Colin West he has some great role models to learn from as a striker.

"As a team we have been on a decent run at times but then we get a slap in the face as we did last weekend but that is where we are in our progression. As a squad we don't shy away from any criticism when we play like we did last Saturday, we take it on the chin and when we lose, we learn, we ask questions of each other and that is the developing environment we are creating."

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