'Frustrated' Waters 'earned his chance' against Salford - Curle

Cobblers boss Keith Curle has praised the attitude of Billy Waters and explained why the forward was handed his first league start of the season against Salford City on Satuday.

Monday, 21st October 2019, 4:32 pm
Keith Curle and Billy Waters

Waters had only started games in the EFL Trophy and League Cup prior to Saturday's Sky Beat League Two fixture when his name was a surprise inclusion in Curle's starting line-up.

But the 25-year-old justified his manager's decision with a hard-working and energetic performance as he helped the Cobblers back to winning ways with a 2-0 victory.

Sam Hoskins and Jordan Turnbull were the men on target but Waters played his part and afterwards he gave a revealing interview detailing his struggles as a fringe player this season.

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Curle had made him available for transfer in the summer but no move was forthcoming, forcing Waters to get his head down behind the scenes and try and force his way back into the reckoning.

And it seems he did that when scoring a hat-trick against Cambridge United in a reserve team friendly just four days before Saturday's visit of Salford.

"Billy's been on the fringes," said Waters. "He's been a frustrated player and a frustrated personality in the changing room but he's earned his chance.

"We got out of Billy what we needed - we needed that player that's got the energy and he's the type of player that you could be 3-0 or 4-0 up or 3-0 or 4-0 down and he'll still be an infectious character, he'll try things and he'll make things happen.

"He's had to be patient but he's conducted himself well at a challenging time because the lad was told he was available if a club came in for him that suited everyone we would listen to them.

"It's been a frustrating time and a frustrating challenge for him but it shows the not only of his quality and character, but the character within the group because he's been kept in line, he's kept his fitness levels up and he's worked hard."