Curle tells 'disheartened' and 'angry' fringe players to 'stay on the bus'

Fringe players currently feeling 'disheartened' or 'angry' over their lack of game-time this season have been told they must 'stay on the bus' and be primed for action by manager Keith Curle ahead of the busy festive period.

Friday, 13th December 2019, 2:25 pm
Updated Friday, 13th December 2019, 2:34 pm
Michael Harriman is one player to have hardly featured of late, starting just one of Northampton's last eight fixtures

Curle has largely kept with the same players during his side's excellent run of form over the past couple of months and because of that several squad members have barely featured.

They include the likes of Michael Harriman, Reece Hall-Johnson, Matty Warburton, Joe Martin and Billy Waters, all of whom have not started a league game in the last six weeks.

However, whilst Curle understands their frustration, he has urged them to stay patient and remain on standby because they could be required at any moment.

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"We've got a busy period coming up at Christmas so we need to know everyone is up to speed and on the same page, but also still on the bus," he said.

"That's a phrase that the changing room understands because when you have 22, 23 players in a squad, sometimes players get a little bit disheartened, disillusioned, angry and frustrated

"But it's important they stay on the bus, which means they're still available, and how the players conduct themselves and how they look after themselves, physically and mentally, is vitally important because we are squad."

Cobblers recently played three games in six days and they face another hectic rush of fixtures over Christmas, but that's something which Curle relishes.

"You get the feeling that some managers don't like game-time and they don't look forward to the 90 minutes on a Saturday or a Tuesday," he said.

"They enjoy the build-up through the week and the contact time with the players through the week but I'm different because I like that competitive edge on a Saturday afternoon and I like games.

"I don't mind playing Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday because that means I'm having real contact time with my players where it counts."