BREAKING: Cobblers sack manager Keith Curle after dreadful run
The club announced on Wednesday afternoon that the 57-year-old has been relieved of his duties with immediate effect, less than a day after they were beaten 1-0 by Wigan Athletic. Assistant manager Colin West has also departed.
Curle leaves with Northampton 23rd in Sky Bet League One having claimed only one win from their past 10 league matches. They also went out of the EFL Trophy to MK Dons last month and remain the lowest scorers in the division with just 20 goals in 26 games.
And it is thought to be that poor goal return which caused the most concern among the club's hierarchy. They scored only three goals in seven games in October, three in six games in December and are now on a run of one in six.
Pressure had been mounting on Curle for some time and Tuesday's woeful performance was the straw that broke the camel's back for chairman Kelvin Thomas, with fans venting their anger and frustration on social media after the game.
But the scrunity on Curle had been ramping up well before Tuesday. Supporters were unhappy with his direct style of football and cautious tactics, particularly since the club made their return to League One this season.
Curle took charge of the Cobblers back in October 2018 when they were 21st in League Two. Replacing Dean Austin, he led them to 16th place that season before memorably winning promotion 12 months later.
Town finished seventh and just inside in the play-offs via the points-per-game method used to determine the final standings after the 2019/20 season was suspended due to COVID. They then produced two superb performances to thrash both Exeter and Cheltenham and seal their return to League One - Curle's first ever promotion as a manager.
But Town's first season back in the third tier has not gone to plan. After a steady start, they have just one win and four goals from their last 10 matches, culminating in Tuesday's awful home defeat to Wigan, what has turned out to be Curle's final game in charge of the club.
Curle leaves Northampton with an overall record of 47 wins, 32 draws and 46 defeats.