Curle to field strong team in cup tie at Bristol City

Keith Curle.Keith Curle.
Keith Curle.
Aston Villa await in round three

Cobblers boss Keith Curle plans to field the strongest team he has available in tonight's Carabao Cup second-round tie at Bristol City.

Playing on Wednesday instead of Tuesday means Town will face a quick turnaround before going to Shrewsbury Town on Saturday, however Curle, who has six injuries to deal with, wants to progress in the cup.

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Asked if he plans to rotate, Curle said: "No, I will put out the most competitive squad that I can do.

"Because of the injuries at the moment, we haven't got a lot to choose from but we've still got enough to compete with them."

Bristol City, now under the management of Dean Holden, have fallen just short of promotion to the Premier League in the last couple of seasons and will provide a tough examination for the Cobblers.

However, Curle's men have already taken down Championship opposition once this season following their 3-0 win over Cardiff City in the first round.

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"Bristol City have got some very good players and they've got a lot of strengths and they will cause us problems," said Curle.

"But the message we give to our players is yes, we're up against good players but they don't like being closed down and they don't like playing League One football so we need to make them uncomfortable and make them play our style of football.

"If we want to compete with them, they've got better players than us, so we need to make them compete the way that we want to play."

After AFC Wimbledon on Saturday, Curle goes back to another one of his old clubs this evening. The former centre-back played over 120 times for Bristol City between 1984 and 1987.

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"I've got very, very fond memories of Bristol City," he added. "I started my career at Bristol Rovers but my change of position from wide midfielder to centre-back took place at Bristol City.

"I learned some valuable lessons during my time at the club, not only in football but also in life, and I've still got a strong affiliation to the city because it is my home town and it's fantastic to see the transformation and the change that Bristol City and Ashton Gate has undergone.

"The setup is phenomenal and they're one step away from being in the Premier League and achieving a massive goal. That's the ambition of the club and everything is in place to achieve it."

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