Curle explains why Cobblers won't appeal Wharton's red card
On-loan centre-back Scott Wharton will miss the next three matches after Keith Curle confirmed the Cobblers will not appeal his sending off against Leyton Orient.
Wharton gave away a penalty with six minutes to go at Brisbane Road and then tangled with Jordan Maguire-Drew after Josh Wright converted from the spot.
It seemed a harsh decision but the club have decided not to appeal so Wharton will miss Friday's FA Cup tie at Derby County, plus league games against Scunthorpe and Macclesfield.
"Scotty will be missing and we haven't made an appeal because of how the FA is set up," said Curle.
"The player is guilty because the referee sent him off and it's down to us to prove his innocence and unfortunately with the cameras angles and the footage we've got, we were unable to get enough to prove his innocence.
"It's a shame for the lad but it's a learning curve for him. He's a very competitive character and he's on an upward curve in his career.
"We're enjoying working with him and seeing him develop up to the standard that we think he will achieve because we think he will become a Championship player minimum, but it's part of his learning."
On how he plans to cope without one of his key defenders, Curle added: "We haven't got a big squad but that's by design and we've still got options.
"If I want to change the shape, I can change the shape and I can change it confidently and put round pegs in round holes."
Wharton's red card at Brisbane Road prompted a 17-man brawl as players from both teams clashed.
"There's nothing as a manager you can do in that situation," added Curle. "I have done in the past and ended up in front of the FA!
"We have a code of conduct that's in place at the club and we don't encourage confrontation but there's also an understanding within the group that when your player is being jumped on by three other players, you try and get those players off.
"If you look at the aftermath of it, there's punches being thrown by their players and credit to our players because we didn't react."