Cobblers boss Curle forced into making a change for Leyton Orient clash

Keith Curle will be forced into making at least one change to his Cobblers line-up for the first time in five matches in Saturday's Sky Bet League Two clash with Leyton Orient at the PTS Academy Stadium (ko 3pm).

Tuesday, 1st October 2019, 1:17 pm
Jordan Turnbull picked up a fifth booking of the season at Morecambe (Picture: Pete Norton)

The Town boss has named an unchanged team for the club's past four fixtures, in which they have been unbeaten, but Jordan Turnbull's one-match suspension means he definitely misses out this weekend.

The former Swindon Town man picked up his fifth booking of the campaign during last weekend's 2-2 draw at Morecambe, a match in which he netted both of the Cobblers' goals.

Naturally a central defender, Turnbull has been operating in the middle of midfield and his absence could give manager Keith Curle a bit of a headache, with central midfielder Ryan Watson still sidelined, and Alan McCormack yet to prove his fitness.

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But the Town boss says the team will take Turnbull's absence in his stride, and the fact that he sits this one out will give somebody else the chance to stake their first team place.

"Jordan is disappointed, and I think Charlie Goode is now on four bookings so is one caution away from a ban as well," said Curle.

"Jordan has been a crucial player for the team, and another piece that has been able to fit in different positions for us, but as one steps out it is an opportunity for somebody else.

"When you have a smallish squad, but a competitive squad, they are all chomping at the bit to get that opportunity, and when they get in they know they need to express themselves to stay in the team.

"If they go in and perfom well, and the team does well, then they have a great opportunity to stay in there.

"We have people that have not been playing recently who are desperate to get back into the squad, are desperate to win games, and that is the competition that we want."

McCormack would be an ideal replacement for Turnbull, and could be in contention for a return to the squad this weekend as he was due to take part in an in-house friendly at Moulton College on Tuesday.

The Irishman hasn't featured since the opening day of the season when he injured his hamstring.

Another option for Curle could be to drop Shaun McWilliams back into a holding role alongside Chris Lines, which could open up a return to the starting line up for Matty Warburton.

The Cobblers go into Saturday's clash in 13th place in league two, while the Os are 21st, having not won in the league since August 20.