Fringe players to be given an opportunity to impress Curle in Swansea City cup tie

Shaun McWilliams is one of several players eyeing a first start of the season at the Liberty.
Shaun McWilliams is one of several players eyeing a first start of the season at the Liberty.

Players on the fringes of Cobblers' first-team will be handed an opportunity to stake their claim for regular game-time when they head to Swansea City for Tuesday's Carabao Cup tie.

Keith Curle made only two alterations from the team that lost to Walsall on the opening day of the season for Town's 1-1 draw at Port Vale on Saturday.

After signing 12 players in the summer, the Cobblers boss has a relatively big squad to pick from, particularly if you include the young talent at his disposal.

Some of those youngsters, such as Scott Pollock and Jay Williams, could be involved at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday, but there's also the likes of Shaun McWilliams, Andy Williams and Jordan Turnbull who have barely featured so far.

"I think we're in the same position as Swansea whereby we have a competitive squad and there's an opportunity for players to go and play," said Curle.

"I want to be competitive so the team I'll put out is a team that I think can be competitive. Swansea will be no different.

"They probably have more players than ourselves and with that there's more opportunity to give game-time to players who might not have played in the first couple of games.

"It's a chance for players to show the manager that they've picked up the understanding of what's required to get into the first-team and I'm no different.

"We're trying to build that ethos of what's needed in and out of possession, individually and collectively, and that's what turns a squad into a team."

Three men who will not be travelling to Wales are injured trio Alan McCormack, Vadaine Oliver and goalkeeper Steve Arnold.

While Arnold awaits the result of a scan on his damaged hamstring, Curle gave more detail on the injury that kept McCormack out of Saturday's trip to Vale Park.

He explained: "It's not as bad as we thought but it's a recurrence of an injury and when you have that you have to be mindful and it probably puts another week or 10 days on top of the rehabilitation to get him back pain-free and injury-free.

"You need to put the muscle and the tendon under more stress so it takes a longer period for him because he needs to be football fit.

"He needs more training to get used to the fatigue levels and the demands that are required on game day but it's a week quicker than we first thought."

On striker Oliver, Curle added: "He's back on the field and it's just a case of making sure he doesn't have a reaction to training. He wasn't involved on Saturday but he's still able to work."