Keith Curle with more Oxford United post match reaction
Manager Keith Curle gave us more reaction to the weekend win over Oxford United.
“One of the things we talked about from the first half on Saturday was the decision making,” he told us. “I thought we stopped them from playing for the most part but we let ourselves down with the final pass too many times.
“If you look at their goal, we tried to do things with one touch when, if we’d had two or three, we might have keptthe ball. If the immediate pass isn’t on the player has to get used to waiting for the next one.
“That’s something we’ll keep working on. We’ll be doing it with our strikers outside the box because that extra touch can make the difference. By all means gamble if you’re inside the box, but we have to be more reliable and consistent in the other areas of the pitch.”
“We had three set piece routines in the game last Tuesday night and we didn’t look dangerous from any of them,” he continued. “We scrapped them because of that and we made things basic and simple again. The corner we scored from came from instinct and that always causes havoc. As a coaching staff that tells us it’s probably better for us to keep things as simple as possible in everything we do.
“We’re in a scrap, we know exactly where we are, and the first thing you need to do is get that team ethos. You then need that winning mentality, but you only get that from winning games. The way we won on Saturday is pleasing because we have something else to build on now.”
“We’re gaining a little bit of momentum now and we even saw a lot from the players in the defeats we had against two very good teams,” he said. “We’ve probably got a slightly dismantled team because of the injuries but the players who came in knew their jobs and their roles.
“I thought Danny [Grainger] did well. He’s a consummate professional and with a little bit more pace he’d be playing Championship football easily. He’s dependable and he’s a nice man who goes about his business in the right manner. If you want someone to compete then he ticks the box because he is a real competitor.
“Courtney [Meppen-Walter] came in and did well. There are things in his game I like and there are things I don’t like. He’s got a great left foot and he’s another good competitor. He’s one who wants to take a breather and when a player does that you find he’s not doing his job. He’s had a long time out and it’s a fantastic mentality to come back and compete as well as he did. He has to do things properly now and build on that performance.
“I’m now getting to know the players and what I think they can do. We had a board meeting on Friday and I told the board there will be a 37 page document which will give a short, medium and long term overview of the playing staff and the football department. Once that has been completed we can take it from there.
“I’m here to win football matches. I’ve never walked in the door and said I was going to be a mate of the players. I’m a very demanding person but if the players give me everything I’ll look after them. I want them to do well and there’s been a bit of interest in some of the younger players, which is what we want. We’re going to get that because they are playing regularly and playing well.
“It’s like having a boy band at times because they’ve all got the hair and they’re at that age. There’s no fear in how they play and that makes things happen. I enjoy working them and I think they’re enjoying their football as well.”
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