Cobblers' midfield pair win high praise from boss Curle

Ryan Watson was skipper for the night. Picture: Pete Norton
Ryan Watson was skipper for the night. Picture: Pete Norton

The central midfield partnership of Ryan Watson and Shaun McWilliams was picked out for special praise by manager Keith Curle after their efforts against Swansea on Tuesday.

Watson both impressed and scored during Saturday's 1-1 draw at Port Vale and he was rewarded for that display with the captain's armband on Tuesday as neither Charlie Goode nor Nicky Adams travelled to south Wales.

"He's a young man who's joined the club in the summer and scored his first goal on Saturday and it's an opportunity to represent the club and put in a captain's performance," explained Curle on his logic behind the decision.

Watson and McWilliams were both in fine form at the Liberty as they combined energy and tenacity out of possession with quality in it to help Town nullify their higher-ranked hosts.

The two were integral to an excellent team performance, at least for 80 minutes at which point it somewhat fell apart and Swansea scored three times in quick succession to overturn Matty Warburton's opener.

Nonetheless, Curle had good things to say about his new-look midfield and both players will hope their performances on Tuesday lead to more regular game-time.

"I thought he did excellent in there," added Curle on skipper Watson. "What we needed in that midfield tonight was energy, dynamics and a willingness to get onboard with what we're trying to do.

"I thought he did very well and Shaun McWilliams was excellent as well. They covered a lot of ground and probably did the job of three men in there.

"But that's what they can do - and it was also a good opportunity for the lad (Watson) to captain the team."