Curle explains Pollock's half-time substitution and says he wants more from young midfielder

Cobblers boss Keith Curle has urged Scott Pollock to 'come out of his shell' after explaining why he substituted the young midfielder at half-time of Wednesday's victory over Stevenage.

Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 12:24 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 12:25 pm
Scott Pollock only made it as far as half-time on his first league start since October. Picture: Pete Norton

The 18-year-old only lasted 45 minutes on his first league start since October when taken off for the significantly more experienced Chris Lines during the interval.

Michael Harriman was also hooked at half-time, replaced by eventual match-winner Andy Williams, but Pollock's substitution caused more of a stir given the local lad's undoubted potential and popularity among supporters.

"Scotty's been champing at the bit and I think there were a few nerves and that played a part because he's so desperate to do well," said Curle afterwards.

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"Sometimes, you can overthink the game and that's what I said to Scotty. I said 'I see you looking at a tackle and trying to nick the ball but sometimes this game dictates that, if there's a tackle there, go and have the tackle'.

"He's got all the ability in the world but he just needs to understand his role and his development and what's required and he needs to be more competitive in tackles.

"He's got ability and he can see play but we're just trying to get Scotty to come out of his shell a little bit because he's got a fantastic range of passing.

"We need to get him facing the opposition's goal and sometimes that's about passing and moving and having a forward-thinking mentality.

"But he will only get better and better with the more game-time he gets."

Curle's double half-time change was ultimately vindicated by the result and while much of the focus was on Williams' dramatic winner, he also praised the impact of Lines.

He added: "I thought the substitution was the right thing to do and Chris Lines came on and for a 30-minute spell we saw the Chris Lines that we brought to the football club.

"He was on the front foot, he landed on second balls and he kept us playing - the lad has got qualities."