Curle critical of Bolger and warns Cobblers skipper to 'keep his mouth shut' or risk losing his place

Defender received first-half booking for dissent against Wigan
Cian BolgerCian Bolger
Cian Bolger

Cobblers boss Keith Curle has criticised captain Cian Bolger and warned him to 'keep his mouth shut' or risk losing his place in the team.

The 28-year-old centre-back was booked for dissent in the first-half of Tuesday's defeat to Wigan Athletic after venting his frustration with referee Marc Edwards following a drop-ball incident.

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Bolger made the error which led to Callum Lang scoring the only goal of the game late on, but it was his earlier digression that frustrated Curle and played a part in the decision to take off his skipper five minutes from time.

Curle said: "I think Cian paid the price for opening his mouth to the official early doors and getting a booking and unfortunately it's not the first time he's done it.

"It's something that he needs to get out of his character and out of his game because, ultimately, it puts you in a precarious position for the rest of the game.

"If you make one slip or one mistimed tackle, potentially you could be sent off. It's a cheap booking and I was more frustrated with that because, repeatedly, I keep telling him to keep his mouth shut.

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"I was fortunate to play a lot of games and I was quite smart with my mouth - but not a single referee changed their decision because of what I said. Yes, Cian has an opinion, but he will not change a referee's mind."

Asked if Bolger might be dropped for Saturday, Curle replied: "That's a risk Cian faces but it's not only Cian. I will put out a team that is competitive."