Curle forced into trio of changes as loan men are ruled out of FA Cup trip to Derby County

Keith Curle will be forced into making at least three changes to his starting line-up when the Cobblers travel to take on Derby County in the FA Cup fourth round on Tuesday night.

Monday, 3rd February 2020, 2:41 pm
Updated Monday, 3rd February 2020, 2:43 pm
Callum Morton celebrates his winning goal at Macclesfield with Nicky Adams, but the West Brom loanee is ineligible for Tuesday night's FA Cup trip to Derby County (Pictures: Pete Norton)

Town were 1-0 winners in their Sky Bet League Two match at Macclesfield Town on Saturday, with West Bromwich Albion loanee Callum Morton scoring the only goal of the game.

Morton will be one of the three changes, as he wasn't registered with the club at the time of the initial match between the sides on January 24.

The others to miss out are fellow loan men Mark Marshall and Lloyd Jones, who were also signed too late - along with Arsenal youngster James Olayinka - but they are Cup-tied anyway having already played in earlier rounds of the competition for Gillingham and Luton Town respectively.

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Mark Marshall in action at Macclesfield

It means Curle will have to shuffle his pack for the trip to the the Rams, who were impressive 4-0 winners over Stoke City in the Championship at Pride Park on Friday night.

The Town boss's options are boosted by the fact that central defender Scott Wharton is available again after suspension following his red card at Leyton Orient last month, while there is also a chance that Jordan Turnbull could be available.

Turnbull suffered a slight muscle strain in the 0-0 draw against the Rams at the PTS Academy Stadium and has missed the recent league two wins over Scunthorpe United and Macclesfield, but he is close to a return and could feature at Pride Park.

"Jordan is back doing field-based training and has been out on the grass," said Curle in Monday's press conference ahead of the Derby trip.

Lloyd Jones impressed on his Cobblers debut at Moss Rose on Saturday

"It is now a case of finding out if there is any reaction to the training he did on Sunday, and he will be out there again today (Mon) and then we have to see if there is a reaction."

Alan McCormack could also be involved as is 'stepping up his field-based training', but whoever makes the cut, Curle is comfortable and happy with the squad he has to pick from.

"The new additions weren't available for the first game, so they won't be available for the replay," said the Cobblers boss. "And we gave a good account of ourselves in the first game, so the challenge is to do that again."

Town picked up no fresh injury concerns at Moss Rose at the weekend.