The manager with reaction to the Tranmere Rovers game
Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy game at Tranmere on Tuesday evening.
“There is plenty for us to be happy with from this game,” he said. “Some of the players got their first opportunity to start competitively under me and they gave good accounts of themselves.
“The performance levels were there for us and the really pleasing thing was the way we finished the game. It was wave after wave of attack and we kept creating opportunities and openings. We saw good energy levels, desire and commitment and we played free flowing football as and when we had the ball.”
“We stopped them from playing and we caused them problems, and that was with them changing their shape and dynamics of how they wanted to play during the game,” he explained. “We were on the front foot as a team and we looked to win the ball back and go toe-to-toe as much as possible.
“Every player was prepared to do that and some of the attacking flow in our game was really good. We got decent balls into the danger areas and we’d have had two, three or four goals on another day.”
“We had some new faces in the team but I’m not scared to play anybody we have in that squad,” he told us. “We’re paying them to be professional footballers but I’ll try not to put them in unfamiliar positions. I’ve seen them in training to know enough about them and what they can do.
“We’ve seen some good individual performances from the likes of Pat Brough, Josh Gillies and Dave Symington and they should take confidence from that. Reports are that a scout was here to watch Patrick from the England U19 set-up.
“From the day I walked through the door I was made aware that there is an emphasis on youth at this club. It doesn’t matter about age for me. If a player has the right mentality, at the right time, and if he understands his roles and responsibilities, then he will get a chance. Patrick had a slightly different positional role, but he coped with it, and some of his deliveries into the box were fantastic.”
“I’m not getting above myself but I know, with the performance levels we’ve had in the last three games, we won’t be at the bottom for long,” he said. “I’m not being complacent in saying that because I know I’ve seen enough from the players to back it up. The belief is there, the confidence is coming back and they are starting to buy into my ethos.
“We want to compete and we want every game to be competitive. As we say over and over – stop the opposition and then go out there to play. They are starting to relish it because they know they’ve been given licence to go and express themselves in the right areas.”
On the exit from the competition, he said: “This is one we wanted to progress in. Our team performance showed that. We didn’t manage it but that was down to the penalty shoot-out. They are always a lottery. People might look at the result and think we came down from Carlisle and wanted to limp out of the competition. Far from it. We gave a very good account of ourselves and we’re disappointed it hasn’t come off for us in the way we wanted it to.
“I think the fans who came enjoyed what they saw as well. I think people are starting to get interested and are starting to believe that something is happening. All I can ask is that they come and get on board.
“I’ve been given a changing room full of pieces and my job is to put those pieces together to find out very quickly what the picture holds. I think if you look at the team now, we’re getting a platform and a foundation to build from. The minimum requirement is application and hard work from every piece we have and then they are given the freedom to go and play.”
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