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MANAGER: Complete change of mentality

29 October 2014

More from manager Keith Curle at his Tuesday press conference

Manager Keith Curle spoke to us about the short term contract situation with Derek Asamoah at his Tuesday morning press conference.

“My first thought when Derek got his goal was I was thankful we scored from a set piece,” he said. “We simplified those situations even more last week and it was great to do that and get the reward for it. 

“With Derek, he knows I can’t offer him a contract based on bit part appearances. He doesn’t want that either. He wants a little bit of stability and longevity but, to get it, he needs to show he can play a full part.

“He’s the kind of player where things can be incentivised. The more time he has on the pitch, the more goals he scores and the better he plays, the more will come his way. It’s win, win for him. 

“I know him really well and I signed him in the past when he was dynamic and his match fitness was completely there. He’s not in bad condition at the moment but he’s a finely tuned athlete who has become a little bit deconditioned simply because he hasn’t played.”

Speaking about the FA Cup first round away tie at Peterborough, he said: “I think it’s a fantastic draw for us. We want to go and test ourselves against the best and this is a chance to do that.

“Upsets do happen and if Peterborough don’t show us the respect we will show them, we could be one of them. Everybody would like to get a team from a lower division but I think it’s better when you know the opposition. You can go up against them and try to find their weaknesses, which I quite enjoy.

“The distance doesn’t bother us. Travelling is part and parcel of being with Carlisle United. If you’re not prepared to do it then don’t come here. It’s a chance for us to really take the shackles off and we will show them respect, but we won’t fear them. 

“My main memories from the FA Cup are of getting beat in the semi-finals when I was at Wolves. It did my head in. We got beat at Villa Park against Arsenal and it’s horrible to get that far only to be knocked out. 

“Wimbledon won it and they bought me the year after using the proceeds, so that’s the beauty of the FA Cup. That was a huge kick start for my career because I had some great times there before I moved on to Man City.”

And on the players at his disposal, he said: “Every decision I make is for the benefit of the football club. I don’t do things because I’m in a bad mood. I do it to try and get three points. It’s my job to do that and you have to remember that other people’s leisure is my industry.

“We do a lot of video analysis with the players after games now. That isn’t just to look at goals for, or against, or things like that. It’s to look at the fundamentals of how we do things.

“It’s to see where we do things simply and how effective that can be. We’re not trying to do things differently to any other team, even those at the top level. It’s about good delivery, getting people into the right areas and getting a strike at goal. That’s how simple we’re trying to make our football.”

“The dressing room is feeling good at the moment and that comes from winning games,” he added. “We can be a little bit messy at times but I’m pleased with the results. There is no better feeling as a player than when you’ve emptied the tank. You want that feeling win, lose or draw. You want to know you’ve thrown everything into your performance to try and get the result and the lads are feeling good because they’ve been doing that.

“I had a board meeting on Friday and the first thing I did was start off where I thought the club was on the day I walked in. I think we’d gone 15 games where we had no wins, and now it’s four wins from six. 

“That’s a complete change of mentality with virtually the same playing squad. The full assessment of the squad has to be completed because one thing you can’t do is get to your destination and then plan your route. 

“The players have been allowed to express themselves and I don’t think any of them will be able to say they haven’t been given a chance. There are a few lads where I haven’t been able to fully see their potential and that’s mainly down to injuries. 

“Danny Kearns is back on field based training now and we’re hoping he will be able to train with us in the next two to three days. Hopefully Mark Gillespie will be at the same stage in the next two to three weeks.”

“It’s up to the players who have the shirt right now to make sure they keep it,” he commented. “My door will always be open for anyone who comes knocking to ask me why they aren’t playing. I’ll always have a valid reason. 

“I’ve said it before, but the owners made it clear when I came here that they want this club to stay in the ranks of the Football League. I’ll do what I have to do to achieve that. 

“However, it’s not something I can do on my own. I need the fans to buy into it and I think they are also enjoying our football at the moment. They’re seeing players who are playing for their shirt and they’re seeing lads who, when things aren’t quite going well for them, are rolling their sleeves up and digging in.”

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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