Cobblers boss Curle hopeful O’Toole will be available for Stevenage showdown

Cobblers midfielder John-Joe O'Toole
Cobblers midfielder John-Joe O'Toole

Cobblers boss Keith Curle is waiting to discover whether or not he will have John-Joe O’Toole available for selection for Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two clash with Stevenage.

The midfielder missed last weekend’s 1-0 victory at Crawley Town due to an unspecified injury and he also sat out last Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy clash at Cambridge United, but there is a chance the former Bristol Rovers man could be fit for selection for the clash at the PTS Academy Stadium.

We all know what JJ is like, and if he has the opportunity to put the shirt on then he will make himself available

Cobblers boss Keith Curle

When asked if O’Toole will be available, Curle said: “I think we will find out later in the week.

“We all know what JJ is like, and if he has the opportunity to put the shirt on then he will make himself available.

“He knows his own body, and he knows how close he can be to what is required on Saturday.”

After a bad run with injuries in Curle’s first six weeks or so in charge at the Cobblers, things are really clearing up with regards to bodies in the treatment room, and the manager has praised the work done by the club’s medical staff, and especially head physio Nacho Herrando and fitness coach Pablo Garcia.

“It is important that we get players back on the grass, get them training and get them bits and pieces of game time, which is important so that we know they are up to speed and can hit the ground running,” said Curle.

“The work that Pablo and Nacho have done with the players is evident when you get somebody like Dean Bowditch coming back from injury and fires out 90 minutes straight away, and is then fit and available for training again.

“Then you have Matt Crooks chomping at the bit when he went on on Saturday and didn’t want the game to end, and that shows they are recovering from injury and the rehab protocol tnhat is in place is working well as well.”

O’Toole is now Town’s only injury concern, and Curle admits that having a fully fit squad is exactly what he wants.

“It will give me a few headaches, and I will have people knocking on my door, but that is what you want,” he said.

“I want a full quota of fit and able professionals that all want to play, and all see themselves within the framework of the squad.

“I want competition for places, I want good players around me that know that ultimately when they play they need to deliver.

“That makes my life easier, because ultimately all I have to do is pick the right team.”