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MANAGER: Showed how far we still have to go

29 December 2014

Keith Curle with reaction to the York City game

Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the York City defeat on Sunday.

“It’s difficult to sum a game like that up,” he said. “Saying we’re disappointed would be an understatement. On honest reflection, and just quickly reverting back to Friday, that game showed me how far we have come as a changing room, a group and a collective. Today’s performance shows me how far we still have to go.

“Experience tells you that you’ll get this when you look at the average age of our side. The importance of the result at home against Northampton, followed by the game at Morecambe, is bound to have an emotional impact. 

“We tried changing things slightly because we knew it was going to be a big crowd and an occasion where we needed a performance. It did look as if the tank was empty but, credit to the players, that comes down to the effort they put in at Morecambe. The backlash is they looked like they were running on empty this afternoon.” 

“Friday’s performance – the result, the occasion, the derby day and playing away from home – took a lot out of our players,” he continued. “I think what we saw today was a bad reaction to that.  

“In the ideal world, as a football manager, you’d like to have it the other way round. You’d prefer that type of spirited performance in front of your home supporters. It wasn’t to be and that’s disappointing, because it was the biggest crowd since I’ve been here. They’ve had to witness a poor performance in the aftermath of a magnificent away day. I’m disappointed because we didn’t put on the type of spectacle we wanted in front of a very big and honourable crowd.”

“We have to remember that what we did at Morecambe doesn’t disappear overnight,” he insisted. “We’ve taken six points from a possible nine and I think, when we look at that objectively, we’d have taken it. If we’d lost the first game, and then won the next two, you’d come out of it on a big high. There’s a level of disappointment right now because of what we’ve seen in the last of this run of games. 

“The way to deal with this disappointment is to get a response and a result. We have to regroup quickly because there will be massive disappointment around due to the nature of the defeat. We won’t hide away from that. We’ll analyse the game and make sure we get the players into the right frame of mind.

“I’ve told the players what we do is take the positives from Friday because that was a fantastic team performance. We’ll get back to it very quickly because we need to prepare them for what will be an enormous physical battle against Newport. They came here and bullied but we showed at Morecambe we can cope with that.”

“If you look at the spine of the York team against the spine of ours, I thought their spine performed better than ours did,” he commented. “We had to make a slight change with missing big Troy, and that did affect us. If you take a dominant figure out of your team, particularly if it’s a centre half, then it can have a ripple effect.

“I have a very honest relationship with Troy and we have to be governed by what he tells us. He knows his knee better than anyone. Let’s be honest, if it was a cup final followed by a summer break he would probably have played. The bigger picture is that we still have a large number of games left and, for us to be able to manage his situation, we need to be able to get him out on the pitch Saturday to Saturday as much as we can.”

“We made the substitutions at half time because Brad [Potts] has been playing with painkilling injections in his toe,” he explained. “Again, if the fixtures were Saturday to Saturday that would have made a big difference for him. With it being Friday to Sunday he wasn’t able to recover properly, and I thought he was off the pace because of those injections. It’s an opportunity now to get three or four days of good training and rest into him so that we get him firing again for the weekend. 

“With Connor Hammell, I felt we needed a spark. You look at that bench and think the youth and enthusiasm he has, along with his ability, might give us something. It was nice to see him get on the ball and try to get us going forward. We brought David [Amoo] out of it because some of our dynamic players have been injured and they haven’t been able to train and play on a regular basis. Three games in a short period of time catches up on you when that’s the case and you can lose that little spark that makes you dynamic. Like I say, we needed a spark and one of our home grown lads tried to bring that for us.”

“Today we got out-footballed by a very good and experienced team,” he said. “They know how not to be beaten, even though they haven’t won as many games as they would have liked. We’re not winning as many games as we would like to either, but we are a work in progress.

“Goals do change games and I think they got their first one at right time. It was one of those days where it was set up for an away upset. We needed to have more freshness about us and it just wasn’t there. The problem we had was that everyone was a little bit off the pace. There’ll be work done on refuelling over the next few days to make sure we have another spirited performance at Newport.”

And with the January transfer window about to open, he said: “It would be easy to have a knee jerk reaction but what we did at Morecambe doesn’t just disappear overnight. 

“Our fans were superb and I think they know where we were when the new staff came into the club. We had to put a stop to that and we like to think we have. We want to get big crowds here but we know we have to improve our performances to get them in here on a consistent basis. If they do keep coming they won’t be as disappointed as they were today.

“We do have a lot of young, home grown and talented players who are giving everything they’ve got. We’re hoping the supporters will acknowledge that and come and help us. Our job is to find the consistency I’ve spoken about which will make them want to come back.”

United Player subscribers can see a series of video interviews with Keith Curle now. Click HERE to go to the Player platform. Follow the same link for more information on United Player, and to subscribe.

Click HERE to see a clip from this interview on our YouTube channel. Follow the same link for more FREE content right from the heart of the club.

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