Curle hints at changes for FA Cup clash against Chippenham

Billy Waters is one fringe player hoping for a start at Chippenham on Sunday
Billy Waters is one fringe player hoping for a start at Chippenham on Sunday

Sunday's FA Cup tie at Chippenham Town might well be used an opportunity for Keith Curle to rotate his squad and hand game-time to those players on the fringes of Cobblers' first-team.

Curle is working with a slightly smaller squad compared to last season but there are a handful of players who have seen their opportunities limited in recent weeks and months.

Forwards Vadaine Oliver and Billy Waters have combined for only eight starts across all competitions this season while winger Egli Kaja is yet to start a game since signing on a free transfer in September.

Michael Harriman and Reece Hall-Johnson are also on the fringes of the team and goalkeeper Steve Arnold is still waiting for a return to competitive action having recovered from injury.

Some managers often see cup competitions as an opportunity to rotate their squads and asked if he would do something similar at Chippenham on Sunday, Curle said: "Yes because I think we've got a competitive squad now.

"We've got the likes of Reece Hall-Johnson, Michael Harriman, Billy Waters, Egli Kaja and other players that have been out injured.

"They've been on the fringes of the team and could potentially be available for selection."

But Curle also knows he can't afford to take too many liberties with his team selection at Hardenhuish Park as the Cobblers look to navigate past their non-league opponents.

"It'll be a full house for them and it won't be their cup final as such but they'll see it as an opportunity," Curle added.

"They would have watched us for the past couple of games and identified our strengths and weaknesses.

"They'll have a gameplan set out but it's the same for us. As a staff and as a group of players, we will be familiar with their strengths and identify their weaknesses that we think we can exploit."