Keith Curle: Northampton Town boss says he 'needed a promotion' as manager

Keith Curle
Keith Curle won promotion as a player with Bristol City, but never as a manager - until Monday's win over Exeter at Wembley

Northampton Town manager Keith Curle said he "needed a promotion" on his managerial CV after leading the Cobblers to League One.

The ex-England defender's side thrashed Exeter City 4-0 in the League Two play-off final at Wembley on Monday.

It was the first time the 56-year-old, who has managed six different clubs, had guided a team to promotion.

"Being selfish I knew I needed a promotion, everybody knew that, but I don't shy away from that," he said.

"Part of my interview with the chairman when I came to the football club was I told him 'I need a promotion and I need a football club that believes in what I'm going to try to do'.

"Fair play to the chairman and the investors at the football club, they've allowed me to create an environment and a platform for me to work that's very enjoyable."

Curle's side overpowered Exeter to record one of the biggest play-off final wins in recent years - a moment he said gave him as much pride as when he assisted Neil Warnock at Queens Park Rangers in their Championship title-winning campaign in 2011.

The former Mansfield Town, Chester City, Torquay United, Notts County and Carlisle United boss had never taken a team to a Wembley play-off final before.

The closest he had come was three years ago when Exeter knocked out Carlisle with a late winner in their League Two play-off semi-final second leg.

Curle hopeful of extending Morton stay

The Cobblers will now return to League One after two years in the fourth tier - and Curle says he is in talks with West Bromwich Albion about keeping 20-year-old loan striker Callum Morton.

He was man of the match at Wembley, having previously scored twice in the semi-final second leg as Northampton became just the third side to overturn a two-goal first-leg deficit to reach a play-off final.

"Those conversations have preliminarily already taken place," Curle told BBC Sport. "We know in our opinion Callum is a player that needs to be progressing.

"He had a standstill with a bad injury, but this goes back to our recruitment. We knew about Callum 18 months ago and we tried signing him just over a year ago.

"As soon as he was back training and played one game we signed him and said that we would nurse him back in and give him the time to develop.

"Hopefully West Brom see a player of theirs developing, scoring goals and creating headlines."