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The Cobblers boss looks ahead to Saturday

6 February 2020

Cobblers boss Keith Curle is expecting another tough examination of his side's credentials in Saturday’s home game with Port Vale.

He says his side will need the support of the Shoe Army as they face two tough home games in the space of four days.
“The away support on Tuesday was as good as I’ve seen anywhere for a very long time, not just the numbers but the noise," he said.
“The Shoe Army didn’t stop singing, we had a fantastic run in the cup, there were lots of different story lines along the way and it was great for us to be involved in that.
“Port Vale is another challenge and we need to make sure we turn up and impose ourselves on the game.
“They’ve got some good players and players I have worked with previously, Tom Pope is a character who I like and there is no doubt the lad can score goals.
“We have got a very competitive squad now and it’s important that we manage that in the right way.
“We are going to get players now who don’t make the starting eleven or even the matchday 18 but we’ve got an honest environment and a culture where players can always come and talk to me.
“I will always be honest with the players as to why they are not playing, sometimes that can be technical or tactical, sometimes it’s because other players are doing well and sometimes it’s because those players haven’t done enough for me.
“Sometimes the most important players to manage are the players who don’t make the squad because next week they might be needed."
Curle also confirmed there has been a change in the backroom staff this week, with Ronnie Jepson coming in as Development Coach to replace David Kelly who has left the club by mutual consent.
As a player, the experienced Jepson played over 350 games for Port Vale, Preston North End, Exeter City, Huddersfield Town, Bury, Oldham Athletic and Burnley.

As a coach, Jepson has been assistant manager or first team coach at Burnley, Gillingham, Huddersfield Town, Bury and most recently Cardiff City as well as reserve team manager at Crystal Palace, Queen's Park Rangers and Leeds United while he has also managed the Gills.
Jepson holds the UEFA Pro Licence qualification.

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