McCormack 'has given Curle stick' over early substitutions

Midfielder Alan McCormack has admitted to giving his manager some grief over not allowing him to complete 90 minutes on a regular basis this season.

Friday, 6th December 2019, 7:34 am
Keith Curle and Alan McCormack

The 35-year-old, who missed the first two months of the season through injury, has finished a game just once since signing for Northampton in the summer, that coming against Grimsby Town in their last league outing.

Keith Curle has repeatedly withdrawn his key midfielder before the 90-minute mark over recent weeks, and his decision to do so at Oldham Athletic last month caused a backlash from supporters as the Latics fought back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2.

McCormack, who's had his fair share of injury problems in the past, was visibly frustrated to come off at Boundary Park but Curle stood by his decision and continues to insist he's putting the interests of the player first.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

After being substituted against Notts County in the FA Cup on Sunday, McCormack said: "I could have done the 90. I've given the manager a little bit of stick each time he's taken me off before but I've just been dying to play 90 minutes for a while.

"I've come off after 70 minutes, then 75 minutes, then 80 and I'm thinking 'just give me 90!'

"But he told me no, he was adamant that I was coming off until he felt I was ready to stay on.

"We've got a plan for me to keep me fit on the pitch at 3pm on a Saturday and we won't deviate from that."

Curle was again full of praise for McCormack after the former Luton and Brentford midfielder racked up his 500th career appearance on Sunday.

"He's far from finished," said the Town boss. "He's got a winning mentality and he's got a winning mindset.

"He'll be disappointed with the booking because he overstepped the mark and it was for dissent so he'll be making a donation as it was a cheap booking!

"But we know with Alan that there are certain characteristics which you can't take out of his game and we don't want to take out of his game."