Keith Curle at his Tuesday morning press conference
Manager Keith Curle spoke to us this morning about the allegations that members of the squad had been seen in town late on Friday evening / Saturday morning.
“I have been told about the allegations but I haven’t heard about timeframes yet,” he confirmed. “I’m reacting firstly to a phone call I received just ten minutes ago to tell me this had happened.
“I was then told five minutes later, by my press officer, that I was going to be asked about it during today’s press conference. It’s not something I’ll hide away from because I can assure you I am disappointed about it and I will deal with it.
“I still need to find out the facts before I do anything else. Once I have all of the information I’ll deal with it in a correct manner. That will be with the players directly involved and with the rest of the squad, because they all need to know what is deemed to be acceptable behaviour by this football club. The whole changing room will also know, without any hint of doubt, how we feel about this.”
“It did come as a shock,” he revealed. “There is a lack of professionalism because of the timing of it. It’s possible they got carried away with the win at Morecambe. They probably thought going out 36 hours before they were next going to be called upon was acceptable, but they’ve been found out.
“The performance and the result on Sunday show it’s not something you can do,” he said. “If it’s a career you want to progress you need to have a level of commitment. Alcohol in your system after a game doesn't benefit you in any way, especially when you have another game within 48 hours. The players know not to go out drinking that close to a game.”
“The one thing I won’t do is react with a knee jerk,” he explained. “I want to know who was out, who they were with and what they were doing. I’m sure there’ll be excuses but I’ll have heard them all before.
“We’ve heard some members of the press saw them out and about on Friday night so we’ll find out what they have to say, and if they thought it was acceptable to be in and around players at that sort of time. It’s important for me to know who has my back and who will give me correct information when I need it. I’m desperate to do well for this club and I need everyone to help me. If they don’t want to do it with me then they need to get off the bus.”
“One thing I’ve learned about Carlisle is that if you sneeze someone is there to offer you a tissue,” he told us. “It’s not somewhere you can sneak about and hope not to be seen.
“Having said that, we need to remember things can get exaggerated and pulled out of proportion. We’re already being told they were out with press lads, in strip clubs and doing all sorts. Everybody starts pointing the finger at everybody else and you lose sight of what actually happened.
“It’s important for me to wade through all that and find out exactly who did what. Once I’ve got the facts to it all I can make a much better decision on what I do next.”
“I know I spoke about the festive games having caught up with the lads after the York game and this doesn’t undermine those comments at all,” he said. “If I’d known about this, and then said what I said, that would have been wrong. What it shows me is that certain players are not adhering to a professional lifestyle. That needs to change.
“We have young players who need to know what is and isn’t acceptable. Players get enough time off in the summer and through a normal working week when it is acceptable for them to go out, or even to just relax and chill out. It certainly shouldn’t happen prior to a game.”
On the next course of action, he said: “We’ll train as normal today and I’ll deal with the situation after that. Another thing I won’t accept is players not being truthful. People make mistakes and if they hold their hands up I don’t have a problem with that. If players are untruthful, and they get found out, that does change things considerably.
“It definitely throws a spanner in the works of what you wanted to do with your day. I was getting changed this morning when my press officer walked in and told me there was a problem. My immediate reaction was that I knew that, because we’d just been beaten 3-0 at home. That was the problem I was ready to deal with.
“I’m not a disciplinarian but I am a professional. I expect my players to act in the same way. It’s one I need to get to the bottom of as quickly as possible because, if I don’t, it will just fester. I need to get it to the surface and make sure the players accept the punishment which will come their way, if that is deemed a necessary course of action to take.
“I do feel let down and that’s why we will deal with it in the changing room. The results we get come from there, so when we get disappointments we deal with it in that environment. Everybody will be exposed because it’s a lack of professionalism. They've let the fans and themselves down so they will have to face the consequences.”