David Buchanan is in contention to make a return to the side for Tuesday’s game at Forest Green Rovers after Keith Curle said there was ‘no problem’ with the Cobblers captain, who was an unused substitute against MK Dons.
The 32-year-old was dropped for Curle’s first game in charge against Bury but started and captained all 17 games since until Saturday, left on the bench for Town’s 2-2 draw against rivals MK Dons as Ash Taylor skippered the side.
The decision was purely tactical though as Curle opted to go with the more attack-minded Jack Bridge at left wing-back, meaning Buchanan had to be content with a place on the bench.
“I pick the team,” said Curle. “He was fit but I don’t think now is the time to speak about individuals that haven’t made the starting 11 or haven’t made the field of play.
“There’s no problem with David. He’s fit and well and his performances have been commendable, but the reason he didn’t play is very simple - I pick the team.
“I don’t owe anyone in that changing room a starting place. I’m brave enough to make decisions and try things that I think will give us an edge.”
I don’t owe anyone in that changing room a starting place. I’m brave enough to make decisions and try things that I think will give us an edge.
Buchanan could well return on New Year’s Day when the Cobblers head to sixth-placed Forest Green Rovers, who have won three of their past four.
Curle added: “It will be another team that want to play football and want to express themselves. They’ve got a brand and style of football that suits the players they’ve got.”
One thing Curle will not tolerate is the word ‘unlucky’ because he believes players must ‘be better’ when they don’t succeed.
“The word ‘unlucky’ is usually around football clubs that don’t succeed,” he explained. “You find people keep being unlucky because they’re doing the wrong things continuously. Tell someone not to do that because it’s not the right thing - be better at what you’re doing.
“Grab hold of people and tell them ‘you’re better than that’ or ‘you need to be better than that’. Within a training environment, that sounds a hell of a lot better than saying you’re unlucky.”