KEITH Curle is viewing tonight’s Carabao Cup third round clash as an opportunity rather than a distraction.

Latics’ reward for beating Accrington Stanley on penalties was a trip to Premier League newcomers Brentford.

It might not be the so-called glamour tie that they would have been hoping for, with neighbouring Manchester City and Manchester United entering the competition at this stage.

Sitting bottom of League Two their priorities lie elsewhere. Add to that an injury list as long as your arm and it is an additional fixture they could probably do without.

Nevertheless, Curle says his players should be excited at the chance to go toe-to-toe with some of the best in the business, in a new state of the art stadium.

“It’s an opportunity - an opportunity for us to progress in the cup,” said the head coach.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for us to go and pit our wits against a very, very good football club.

“Brentford had a fantastic win on Saturday showed their character and their mettle by winning with 10 men, beating Wolves who finished high up the table last season in the Premier League.

“They’ll be playing a weakened team but how Brentford do their recruitment, they don’t have weak players. They’ve got good professional players in a very good professional environment and we need to be on our mettle. We need to get that little bit of luck that does happen in the cup.”

And while Latics have not played at Brentford’s new Community Stadium before, there are familiar faces to Curle.

“I know a few people there in the backroom staff or behind the scenes,” he said.

“The German lead scout Simon Tracey has been my recruitment manager at Carlisle, Northampton and I play golf with him as well so I know him.

“Lee Dykes, the assistant head of recruitment, I had an excellent working relationship with (at Carlisle United).

“They are good people, so I know they’ve got good people at that football club and they won’t take the game lightly.

“They want to win every game, that’s their mentality and you need that mentality.

“For them to survive in the Premier League you can’t choose when you turn up, you have to turn up week in, week out. If they do change a few players around it would be an opportunity for them to give their manager a nudge to say ‘next opportunity, I’m ready’.”

Curle could himself make personnel changes in tonight’s line-up with players on the road to recovery from injury, while also looking to use the game as an opportunity to get more minutes into rising stars like Benny Couto, who impressed on his debut in the Papa John’s Trophy win over Salford City - particularly after Alan Sheehan took a knock on Saturday’s goalless draw at home to Hartlepool United.