What the Northampton boss said about his side's defeat to Portsmouth

Keith Curle felt Northampton were always in the game despite crashing out of the EFL Trophy at the hands of Pompey.

The Blues moved into the third round of the competition they’re reigning champions of with a 2-1 victory at Fratton Park last night.

However, it wasn’t all plain for Kenny Jackett’s side, with the League Two visitors taking a deserved 12th-minute lead through Michael Harriman.

Pompey battled back, though, with Leon Maloney equalising with his maiden goal for the club before Marcus Harness crashed home the match-winner in the second half.

Curle, who made eight changes from the Cobblers’ FA Cup win over Notts County on Sunday, took the positives from his side’s display against the in-form Blues.

The Sixfields boss told the Northampton Chronicle: ‘I think there were plenty of positives. The attitude of the players was excellent and I cant fault their application and their willingness to take on board the information and adapt.

‘It was very pleasing to take the lead and the major positive was to get some very good minutes and some very competitive minutes into players.

‘We were always in the game and I think that shows the cohesion we've got within the whole squad whereby very quickly we can get a lot of players onto the same page.

Ross McCrorie drives towards goal during Pompey's 2-1 victory over Northampton. Picture: Sean Ryan

‘That's important and some of the fundamentals in our play were very good. I gave the players a slightly different gameplan because we knew the opposition we were coming up against.

‘But we took a one-goal lead away from home and had a good share of possession - we could have been a bit better on the ball at times but overall I'm very pleased.’