KEITH Curle is looking forward to having more strength in depth, with four more senior players closing in on a comeback.

Nicky Adams returned to the squad for the first time in two months for Saturday's FA Cup first round tie at Ipswich Town - coming on as a late substitute to help see out the 1-1 draw and secure a replay next week.

And before the end of November Latics' head coach is hoping to have summer signings Ouss Cisse, Jamie Hopcutt, Sam Hart and Kyle Jameson available for selection.

Hopcutt lasted just 54 minutes of his debut before limping off at Bradford, in August, days after arriving on a free transfer.

Former Leyton Orient and MK Dons midfielder Cisse was just four games into the League Two season when he suffered a severe hamstring injury, while Latics' first win of the season was marred by Hart being forced off in the 17th minute and the former Rochdale and Southend defender has not featured since.

Jameson has missed the last six league games after picking up a knock in September.

But all four are making good progress and are going through the final stages of their rehabilitation before being passed match fit.

And Curle cannot wait to have more options at his disposal.

"I'm hoping within another two or three weeks we'll potentially have Cisse, Hopcutt, Hart and Jameson - that adds more dynamics to us," said Latics' head coach.

"We've been battered with injuries. We've been depleted in squad number size, but we keep going and we're still competitive.

"Sam will hopefully resume training this week, Jamie's back training but he just needs to get used to the rigours of training, Cisse is two weeks (away), Kyle Jameson will be a week to 10 days. Nicky Adams is back involved in the squad.

"If you have a look at those players they've all got experience, they're all good characters."

And Curle highlighted just how tough it has been for him, and the club, since August.

"We have the smallest squad in the league and a squad that isn't balanced enough with the injuries that we've had to consistently put in performances that are going to get us out of trouble," he explained.

"If you walked into any club and said randomly now I'm going to take 15 players out of your squad - it might be 15 squad players, five of your best players, two of your best players, your best player along with the others - you tell me it's not going to have an effect.

"I've never known anything like it."

Meanwhile, Curle has smoothed things over with Paul Cook after a misunderstanding about his Ipswich counterpart's cup draw comments.

Cook had said that he hoped to be able to reach the third round of the competition and get Norwich in the draw - a comment that Curle felt was dismissive of Latics.

But Curle said: "I spoke to Cooky before the game and he reassured me in no way was he being disrespectful about the third round, I must have missed something out of what he said about it being every club's ambition was to get to the third round. It might have been me being a little bit protective where all I heard was he wanted to get to the third round and play Norwich.

"I take his explanation because Cooky's a football person and he wouldn't purposefully disrespect anybody."