KEITH Curle values the role of set pieces in football and spends plenty of time perfecting them in training.

And when it comes to outfoxing and unlocking opposition defences he is open to new ideas and techniques.

But the Latics boss admits even he was sceptical about the latest training ground suggestion.

You have heard of jumpers for goalposts... well, in last night's 5-2 win over Colchester United, Curle put jumpers BEFORE goalposts.

As Alfie McCalmont lined up his free kick outside the area, a cluster of his team-mates - including Conor McAleny and Dylan Bahamboula - were hovering around the six-yard box and jumping repeatedly in an effort to distract goalkeeper Dean Gerken.

As it turned out, the quality of McCalmont’s free kick would probably have been good enough to beat Gerken even without the unorthodox intervention.

Crashing in off the post, the Leeds United loanee could not have placed it better to fire Latics 2-0 up.

Nevertheless, Curle was delighted to see a training ground manoeuvre come off, even though he could not take the credit for it.

For the head coach explained it was a suggestion from his assistant, Paul Butler, who had worked on something similar at Leeds United during his time as Thomas Christensen’s number two.

"I'd like to take all the credit for it but I can't. It's Paul Butler's one. He had an international set piece specialist come over and he did it when he was at Leeds and he said it worked, so he put it on at the training ground. And I've got to say I was sceptical to say the least," Curle smiled.

"I'd like to take the credit, but I won't do, that one's down to Paul."

And Curle, who has previously been known to use alternative corner routines, said it would not be a one-off.

"There's a next stage to it as well. There's more to come there," he continued,

"On set pieces I was more disappointed with the one in the first half where Pidge (Carl Piergianni) had a free header in the box and he's just mis-timed his header.

"If that one goes in I would have taken all the credit for that one!

"Set pieces are a massive part of the game. It's taken a little bit of time - we've tried to be as simple as possible first of all for the players because we didn't want to confuse them but now they're starting to take on board and starting to show an understanding of the importance of them, and now we can be a little bit more creative from set pieces as well."