CURLE AND CALDERWOOD REACTION
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Manager Keith Curle, while naturally delighted with the outcome, warned: "I have too much respect for Colin Calderwood as a manager and as a person to think the tie is now dead.
"Yes we got a great result and have a two-goal advantage. But we still have to go out there on Thursday and perform and ensure we get the right result.
"We will be up and at them. As a team we play better on the front foot and that will be the mindset of the players."
But manager Colin Calderwood has not given up on the tie: "There have been other games when a 2-0 deficit has been overturned, but it's going to be difficult for us as we're away from home.
"Our first-half performance was decent, but then in a semi-final the result is everything.
"But we'll go to Mansfield and give it a real go, but we've got to go beyond anything we've achieved this season to turn it around." And Mansfield boss Keith Curle added: "The tie is still alive and we'll be up and at them for the second leg.
"Before the game, I pinned a note up in the dressing room which read 'When we have to play, we'll play, and when we have to work, we'll work' and asked every player to sign it. They all did."
'The tie is not over yet,' warns Cobblers boss
Northampton Town boss Colin Calderwood reflected on Sunday's play off semi final first leg defeat to Mansfield Town, and while he admitted he was disappointed with the 2-0 defeat, he was quickly back in a positive frame of mind looking ahead to Thursday's second leg.
"There a lot of football left in this tie," he said. "We were thankful they did not score at the end as three-nil might have been a step too far, but we have seen two goal deficits change. What we have to do now between now and Thursday is dust ourselves down and re-group.
"The tie is Mansfield's to lose but we will try and apply some pressure on them. Goals change games but this is not the game to reflect on your performance because it's the result that is all important in the play offs. We have got to raise the levels again and go beyond what we have done this season, but if there is a group of players who can do that then it is this group.
"Our away form has been good recently. Everyone here is feeling a little sorry for themselves at the moment but we have got to change that. We have got to be positive, aggressive and give it our best shot.
"Experience will be vital to us. We have got to make it a difficult encounter for Mansfield. It's a huge task for us, but if we were to win it would be something to be very proud of.
"Marc Richards and Martin Smith have both been ill over the last few days and that's why they came off early but they, like every other player, gave everything for the cause in this game.
"We are disappointed but this is a strong minded group of players and we will go and give it a go. We need everything to go in favour, but whatever happens in the 2nd leg, I hope the fans are proud of the team, because we are proud of the fans."
Latest | May 2004