Keith Curle with reaction to the Northampton game
Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the important 2-1 victory over Northampton Town.
“I think it’s important for us that we got that win,” he said. “We’ve done a lot of talking and there’s been a lot of time spent on the training ground recently. The spirit has come through and that was what this group needed more than anything.
“What we needed to see more than anything was a backbone. They put us under pressure and we stood up to it. I thought we saw a bit of toughness and we need to develop and grow that so it becomes second nature.”
“A lot of the League Two teams we will face are big and physical,” he continued. “You have to be prepared to match that. If you don’t stand up to it you get hurt in this division. You can’t let yourself be bullied or you get nothing at all.
“It wasn’t always pretty but it was a game we weren’t going to allow to go away from us lightly. It was nice to be tested and stretched and even better to come through it with a win. It was actually a difficult way to win a game even though I thought we created some good chances and some decent half chances. We probably had enough of those to win a couple of games.”
“We knew it was a day where we needed to get the crowd on board very quickly,” he told us. “If the supporters know we’re giving everything we’ve got they’ll always accept it. They stayed with us and I think they enjoyed it in the end.
“We’ve been working on set pieces a lot and it’s fantastic when it pays off. It gives the players the belief that what we talk about does actually work. You need the lads to buy into it and they obviously did. That’s why we got that goal from Troy.
“I think we saw solidity for long periods after that. We knew we had to stick together and our desire to win the ball and use it had to be right. We only had two fit centre forwards so our attacking options were always going to be slightly limited. We still looked like we could score goals and create chances so we’re pleased about that.”
On the equaliser just before half time, he said: “Everybody who was in the ground knows their goal came from David Amoo switching off. The easy thing to do after it was to go into the dressing room and lambast him.
“I didn’t do that because we don’t want a blame culture at this club. I set him the challenge of making sure he got the ball as much as possible so he could do things to get him and the team out of trouble. That was the only way he was going to repay us. He did it for us when he created the goal and that’s what you call team work.
“It would have been easy for me to hang him on one of the pegs and make him a scapegoat. We don’t want to create that type of atmosphere. What we want is team spirit and you get that by playing to everyone’s strengths.
“David took more responsibility in the second half because he knew we needed to see a reaction, and not just from him but from everyone, to the way we’d just conceded. Nobody was getting past or beyond him. Make no mistake, David will not get a job at this club, or at any other, as a right back. It just isn’t going to happen. No matter how much coaching or training you did, you could not turn him into a right back. However, he’s definitely got something to offer as a right winger.”
And on the support from the stands, he said: “We could hear the supporters in the right way. That followed on from how we started the game. It was a cold day and it was important to get them on our side. They’ve come here wanting to get a good feeling ahead of Santa coming down the chimney and we needed to respond to that and give them something.
“It’s good to climb the table but I know this is still work in progress. It was always going to be a difficult task and we still need strength of character to be developed in that changing room.
“Now we’ve got a win we need another one. There’s been a lot of soul searching and honesty and it’s all about gaining and gathering information for the players to take into game situations. I keep telling them they need to toughen up and be more demanding of each other. We’re still in a relegation battle but it’s coming together gradually. We won a game of football this weekend. Like I say, we now need to win another one.”
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