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MANAGER: The players are hurting

Posted: Sun 08 Jan 2017
Author: Andy Hall
Keith Curle

Keith Curle

Image by: Mark Fuller

Keith Curle with reaction to the Colchester away game

Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the away day defeat at Colchester shortly after full time on Saturday night.

“We’re very disappointed but we had a couple of opportunities where, if we’d taken them, we’d be talking about a different ending,” he said. “The players within that dressing room are hurting and so am I. There were some basics today that we didn’t do well in the game and it cost us.

“We didn’t stop balls from going into our box and some of our decision making was poor. However, we did create chances and we did look a good side for spells of the game. Looking at everything as an overview, we’ve lost three games out of 25 and we’re still a work in progress.”

“We missed three very influential players who are good characters [Danny Grainger, Mike Jones and Michael Raynes] and we were caught a little bit short,” he added. “Losing players of that quality is bound to change the dynamics. If you took players like that out of any team they’d struggle.

“Michael Raynes and Russell Penn were missing through illness. They’ve had high temperatures and sickness so they weren’t able to travel. We’ll be getting specialist reports on Danny and Mike at the end of this week, or the beginning part of the week after, and we’ll be able to have a better assessment of where those players are from that.”

“In the mean time we will continue to look for new qualities to bring into the squad,” he confirmed. “That hasn’t changed because it’s what we’re always doing anyway. We know we have a smaller squad and that means we’ll suffer if we start to have a shortfall in numbers through injury or illness.

“The club is doing everything it can to help with that and I’ve got to do my bit now. If that means making sacrifices with some of the players we’ve got here, then so be it. The priority now is to find first eleven players and not squad players. We need people who can come here and play.

“As I say, we’re working with the club on trying to bring in a few new faces with qualities and skill sets I don’t feel we have at the moment. To do that, I need to make room within the squad by balancing the books. That means we need people to be going out in the other direction. That’s nothing personal, it’s purely professional.”

“As things stand we haven’t had any bids at all for our players and we’re close to capacity with our financial situation, in terms of salary management protocols,” he said. “We’ve had to do some rejigging of our figures to allow us to bring Macaulay Gillesphey back, because I think there was some concern from the Football League that his registration wouldn’t have been allowed to go through had we not done that.

“That means we’ll need to take some off the wage bill to allow us to bring others in. I’ve been honest with the players in the dressing room and I’ve just told them that because of the situation we’re in I need to bring some players in to help us. It might be that I have to move two out to bring one in. The budget I’m working with is ever changing but to get more players to make us really competitive we need to make room within our budget.

“We’re still in a good place but we just need to build on it. The things which haven’t gone well recently have been down to individual errors and from players doing the wrong thing at the wrong time.”

Speaking about the goals conceded, he said: “The number of goals conceded in ratio to games played is diabolical. We need to go back to the drawing board and we need to work hard at it.

“However, we’re creating chances and if you take those chances it does change games. The key stage today was when we were level at one-all. We had the dominance and they scored against the run of play. It was a scramble on the edge of the box and how he’s managed to get a shot through four or five people, I just don’t know.

“It was another goal from a ball which was allowed to get into our box too easily and it was then only half cleared. There are definitely things to work on but we have to keep in mind that we’ve given ourselves a good starting point.”

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