Returning Curle has one regret from his spell in charge of Cobblers

Latics boss also provides team news for Sixfields clash

By James Heneghan
Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 1:35 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 1:36 pm
Keith Curle.
Keith Curle.

Tonight's trip to Sixfields was the first game Oldham Athletic manager Keith Curle looked out for when the Sky Bet League Two fixtures were released in the summer.

Curle, now head coach at Boundary Park, returns to Cobblers this evening for the first time since he was sacked by the club last February.

He had plenty of ups and downs during his two-and-a-half years at Sixfields but his one main regret was not being able to celebrate promotion in front of Cobblers' supporters.

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Town thrashed Exeter City 4-0 in the play-off final at an empty Wembley Stadium, with the coronavirus pandemic preventing fans from attending.

“It was the first game that I looked for as soon as the fixtures were released," said Curle on tonight's match. "I’m looking forward to going there without a point to prove and I don’t have any animosity towards the football club.

“I’m very proud of the promotion that we achieved, but there was one disappointment at the time that we didn’t gain that promotion in front of the Northampton fans at Wembley.

"It would have been an immense atmosphere to celebrate the successful campaign.”

As for tonight's team news, Oldham will again have Jamie Hopcutt, Sam Hart and Ouss Cisse available after they returned from injury in Saturday's impressive win over Port Vale.

Curle added: “I’m sure that there will be people saying that results weren't going our way, but we had seven, eight, nine, ten players constantly unavailable.

"For example, against Brentford, we had 15 players unavailable for various reasons which people say is an excuse, but they’re good players that can affect the game for us.

“Now, we’ve got those players back, there are characters back in the changing room and there are different personalities back on the pitch which makes us stronger.

"I was pleased with Saturday's performance against Port Vale, their fans came in their numbers, and they had momentum with an impressive unbeaten run, so we had to step up and be counted.

“If you have a look at the goals that we scored, I don't think they'll be replayed as fantastic goals, but something that we touched on in training is that we need to get more people forward and we need to get more people in goalscoring positions.

"The leash was off and the players had that freedom to go and commit themselves in the box and I thought we got our rewards.”