Cobblers boss Curle relaxed over fitness of summer signing Alan McCormack

Cobblers boss Keith Curle insists there are no injury concerns over summer signing Alan McCormack, saying 'if it had been a cup final on Saturday, Alan would have played'.

Monday, 22nd July 2019, 9:49 am
Alan McCormack pictured in pre-season training with the Cobblers (Picture: Pete Norton)

The former Luton midfielder hasn't played a single minute of football in pre-season due to a hamstring problem, and is the only member of the Town squad yet to feature in a game.

With the big Sky Bet League Two kick-off against Walsall now just 12 days away, that is hardly an ideal scenario, but Curle has reassured supporters that the Irishman is very close to full fitness.

Asked what the 35-year-old's problem is, Curle said: "Alan had something to do with the fascia in and around his hamstring that had fluid in it, and we had to get the fluid out.

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Cobblers boss Keith Curle

"It is a very, very minor hamstring strain if you want to call it that, and it a case of resting and then building back up.

"We have a return to training and playing protocol, but if it had been a cup final on Saturday then Alan would have played, probably on Tuesday night (against Sheffield Wednesday), Alan McCormack would have played.

"But this is an opportunity where we can tick boxes and make that, yes, that's been done, that's been done, that's been done, and when the the players aren't playing and performing, they are still working."

There was good news on the injury front for Curle at the weekend, with Charlie Goode making his first appearance of pre-season following his move from Scunthorpe United, while Joe Martin and Reece Hall-Johnson also returned to action.

"The pleasing thing from Saturday was getting Charlie Goode back fit and him getting minutes, Joe Martin coming back and getting minutes, and Reece Hall-Johnson coming back in," said the Cobblers boss.

"Alan McCormack is very, very close and is doing excellently with his rehabilitation work, and we are hopeful those players will be available for Friday's fixture (against Milton Keynes Dons).

"A lot of hard work that has gone in physically, and there has been a lot of technical and tactical work that the players have taken on board as well.

"Ultimately, it is all about having a good and competitive squad available for selection for the first game of the season."

Nicky Adams sat out the clash with the Blades on Saturday, but Curle said there is absolutely no problem with the club captain's fitness, he was simply rested.

"Saturday was going to be a game where, if you are a wide player, you were going to spend a lot of time facing your own goal and chasing back," said the Town manager.

"Nicky has done his fitness work on Friday and Saturday, and Friday night (against MK) will again be an opportunity for Nicky to come out and play in a game where we will be able to play slightly more attacking.

"Saturday was about the team keeping its shape and being difficult to break down, and getting the understanding that out of possession these are the roles and responsibilities of the players.

"Nicky has a good understanding of that position as he played it all last season in a promoted team."

The Cobblers are back in action on Tuesday night when they travel to county neighbours Brackley Town.