Keith Curle ahead of the Newport game
Manager Keith Curle spoke to us this morning about this week’s trial players and about the Newport game at the weekend.
“Two of the five trialists who played at Burnley have been invited back to continue their spell with us,” he confirmed. “We’ve had one who has played two games for us and he’s been very impressive.
“He’s playing at the weekend so we’re going to have another look at him. He’s young, with raw potential, and we think we can mould him into a good player. We know there’s interest from other clubs but location wise it suits us at this moment in time. He’s slightly under the radar so now probably isn’t the time to reveal his name.”
“We had Jake Simpson with us for the Burnley game on Tuesday and he is a very combative midfield player,” he continued. “He has slipped out of the game and he’s desperate to grasp a career.
“We’re having an extended look at him because he’s got ability, but he needs to force my hand. He’s competing with the central midfield players we’ve already got so he needs to show me a little bit more.”
And on Monday’s truth and honesty session with the players, he said: “We left them all in the room with the video analyst and we gave them a pen and some paper.
“We asked them to write down their comments on what they saw. I went through all of their comments at the end of that and I then brought everybody back together to talk about them.
“I asked the influential players in the group, those who I think can have a positive impact on the changing room, to explain what they’d written. We then had a general discussion about what they’d watched and there were slight disagreements in some areas.
“After that had been done I went round the players and asked them questions about things I’d seen in their performances and their daily routines. I wanted to know if they felt they’d maximised their potential, but it wasn’t used as a way to bang them over the head.
“We didn’t finish the process until 5 o’clock on Monday evening and it was too late to train by then. We did our first training session on Tuesday morning and they were excellent with their tempo and approach.
“There was feistiness there and people were digging each other out when things weren’t going right. That’s what you want to see. You need to be able to communicate and you need to be able to react if someone tells you to get somewhere on the pitch. That has to start when you’re on the training pitch.”
Looking ahead to the visit of Newport, he said: “They have a good record and they’re putting in some good, solid performances,” he said. “We’ll have to stop them playing their game because they have good movement and they’re able to score goals.
“The big lad Zebroski is a target man who knows how to play his role. They’re very solid as a team and they have pace and power, so they’ll give us a test. They have their strengths but I think they’ve also got weaknesses we can exploit.”
“They come here in decent form,” he continued. “They enjoy travelling and they’re getting their rewards for that. That has to come to an end and hopefully it will be us to do that to them on Saturday.
“I've played against Justin [Edinburgh] a few times but we were always at opposite ends of the pitch. He's cutting his teeth in management and he's got a football club there who are doing well. We’re going to have to do things properly but I’m confident we’ve prepared well and that we will cause them problems.”
And on players available for selection, he said: “Paul Thirlwell and Troy Archibald-Henville are back in contention. That’s good news for us because it adds to the mix.
“Alex Marrow has had a toothache which has kept him out. It’s had a slight infection in it so he hasn’t been able to train and he’s missed a lot of rest and sleep. He’s still an area of concern for us.
“Brad Potts has been training through the early part of the week and he did an exertion session on Wednesday with no ill effects. He’ll train again ahead of the weekend and we’ll see if he gets any reaction to that. Hopefully he’ll come through it and be available for the bench. What we don’t want is to rush him back and increase the risk factor involved with him.”
“It would be nice to go into the free weekend on the back of a win,” he agreed. “We've still got 28 games to get to where we want to be.
“Initially that is above that relegation line and there are still a lot of points to play for. We will be competitive in every game to try and get as many of them as possible.
“We need the support from the crowd to continue the work we’ve done because we want to make this a fortress. They’ve been absolutely phenomenal since the day we walked into this football club and people are coming here and expecting to see a committed team.
“We’re trying to play entertaining, free flowing and attacking football and we want them to know that will carry on.”
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