Squad in good shape as Curle urges Cobblers to keep the winning habit

Joe Martin has been out for a month
Joe Martin has been out for a month

Keith Curle has no fresh injury concerns ahead of this weekend's Sky Bet League Two clash with Crewe Alexandra at the PTS Academy Stadium.

He could even have an extra player to pick from with the news that left-back Joe Martin is back in the frame following a month on the sidelines with a hamstring problem.

Midfielders Ryan Watson (broken collarbone) and Shaun McWilliams, who’s still recovering from an appendix operation, are the only absentees for the visit of David Artell’s side

“Joe is back field-based training now,” said Curle. “He’s coming back and will hopefully be available this weekend.

“When a team’s doing well the niggles don’t trouble players as much. When things aren’t going well, players are in the treatment room for a twisted sock!

“But if you get that winning team and that feelgood factor around the club, everybody wants to be out on the grass and that’s pleasing.”

The Cobblers have won four and drawn one of their past five matches and head into tomorrow’s Sky Bet League Two encounter in ninth place.

But Curle knows his side can’t rest on their laurels as they try and get themselves among the play-off positions ahead of the festive period.

“Winning games always helps the environment we’re trying to create because we’re trying to create a winning environment,” he said.

“But to do that you have to continue winning because it helps the progress of the team and our mindset after the cup game is straight back onto the league campaign.

“We’ve got two home games coming up and two good games against good opposition.

“Crewe have had the better start but the pleasing thing is that we are within touching distance and that makes Saturday a big game.”

And narrowing down his squad to 11 players on Saturday will be not be straightforward for Curle after the performances of some individuals in the victory over Chippenham in the FA Cup.

He said: “It was pleasing to get minutes into players (against Chippenham).

“The focus was there, the clean sheet was there and the goals were there and to have strikers’ names alongside the goals was pleasing. We’ve got some good options.”