KEITH Curle says he will only consider blooding younger players in the last week of the season if he feels their inclusion is warranted.

In the final two games of the 2020/21 campaign there is nothing at stake for mid-table Latics, who can

neither go up or down. Harry Vaughan has featured in recent games from the bench having impressed Curle.

And the head coach watched the Academy players on Tuesday when they drew 1-1 with Accrington Stanley Under 18s.

But he said he would only give first team opportunities where he felt it was justified and earned, and not just to make up the numbers.

Asked if he would use the last two games to give experience to some of the younger players, Curle said: “If in my mind they have earned it, if they have done enough in the performances that I’ve been able to see from the youth team players, yes.

“There are still players in the first team squad that haven’t been exposed to match minutes yet, some of the players that are coming back from injury that are available for selection.”

Striker Zak Dearnley is expected to feature in the squad to face Mansfield after an absence of over three months, while George Blackwood has recovered from the knock that ruled him out against Grimsby after scoring in the 3-0 win at Harrogate.

Marcus Barnes has featured twice from the bench after making his comeback while Ben Garrity is also looking to make an impact after injury.

“It’s an opportunity for me to have a look at those,” Curle added.