McCormack 'shows his value' to Cobblers as Curle remains cautious over midfielder's fitness

Midfielder Alan McCormack demonstrated his value to the Cobblers and the style of play manager Keith Curle wants to implement with a classy performance against Salford City on Saturday.

Monday, 21st October 2019, 11:12 am
Alan McCormack started his second game of the season on Saturday. Picture: Pete Norton

Despite not always playing due to fitness issues, McCormack was held in high regard by Luton fans during their rise from League Two to the Championship in back-to-back seasons.

Whilst his fitness continues to be a concern, the 35-year-old's signing was still seen as something of a coup by Curle in the summer and he illustrated his undoubted quality with a fine performance on Saturday.

Starting for just the second time this season, McCormack was tidy in possession and industrious out of it as Cobblers claimed their first win in five with a 2-0 victory.

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"Alan McCormack showed his value," said Curle. "When you're formulating your team at the start of the season, you see the credentials he's got and you know that he will have an affect on other players around him.

"You're going to miss him but then you're asking different questions of different players and I think that's the same for Ryan Watson.

"Having those players not available means you have to shuffle the pack and sometimes you have to shuffle the focus of the way you want to play.

"But there were elements on Saturday that showed what we've missed from Alan McCormack. The pleasing thing is he got through 50-55 minutes and gave everybody else that confidence of what we're looking to do."

McCormack was withdrawn shortly after half-time on Saturday and with another game to come at Carlisle on Tuesday, Curle will continue to take the cautious approach over the midfielder's fitness.

"We've got a game on Tuesday," he added. "It didn't matter about the scoreline, we had it in our mind to get to as close to 60 minutes as we could and then get him off the pitch.

"We're trying to get his body back into the system of training, playing, training, playing and we have another game on Tuesday and as part of his rehabilitation we'll try to get to 75 minutes in the next couple of weeks.

"If we're able to do that, then it's a case of all systems go and we can start rolling out 90-minute periods."