Manager Keith Curle at his Thursday morning press conference
United manager Keith Curle spoke to the assembled media at his Thursday morning press conference.
“It’s been another good week because we had a lot of positives to take out of Tuesday,” he said. “It was a very competitive game but we got a good foothold and the way we ended it was very pleasing.
“We gave a very good account of ourselves over the 90 minutes and it gave me another opportunity to look at different players, in some cases in slightly different roles. You can see the players develop as they do this and it’s been good for me to watch.
“Positional sense and game understanding is something you get by being out there on the pitch. I won’t ever have players in roles where I don’t think they can contribute positively. They’ve all adapted very well and they’ve accepted everything I’ve asked them to do.”
“We’re starting to see that as and when players are being asked to do something they're going onto the field of play with no qualms,” he continued. “That’s something I really like. The amount of bodies in the changing room hasn’t changed but there’s more of a team feeling now.
“The whole attitude at the place has changed and that’s because we’re getting points. That sounds simple, but it really is the case. We’re nowhere near where we want to be but the staff and I have galvanised the players and given them some shape and direction. They’re now getting the rewards because they’re taking to the field and they’re enjoying what they’re doing.”
“We’ve tried to make the game as simple as possible,” he told us. “We’ve used clear instructions at the same time as giving the lads the freedom to go and play.
“This squad is in a false position as far as I’m concerned. There is no way they should have been points adrift with the ability we have in that changing room. From what I’ve seen so far, they shouldn’t even be in the bottom half of the table. The results we’ve been getting have helped to bring the confidence back and we just need to keep it all rolling along.”
“Another of the pleasing things is that we had a group where heads dropped if something went wrong just a few weeks ago,” he explained. “You could see a really deflated attitude on the pitch if we went behind, but that seems to have gone now. I didn’t see any evidence of it whatsoever when we went behind at Tranmere. There was a total belief we were going to get something from the game – and we did.”
“Looking at this weekend, the team doesn’t get picked until Friday,” he said. “There is still time for everyone to make a claim and we’ll be looking through the sessions at those players we feel can apply themselves to the job we need them to do on Saturday afternoon.
“There are still three or four players I want to see more of. That includes Courtney Meppen-Walter, Matt Robson, Antony Sweeney, Alex Marrow and Danny Kearns. Hopefully within a fairly short time frame I’ll have been able to assess them to find out what they can offer. Once I’ve seen these lads I’ll be able to go to the powers that be with a full recommendation of what I feel should happen to the squad. I told the owners when I first took over that I wasn’t going to fill the changing room with players until I knew exactly what I had at my disposal. That remains the case.”
“There are three points available from every game we play and our preparation won’t ever change, whoever we play,” he said. “That started for this Saturday immediately after Tuesday night’s game. We finished in a very positive manner and we’ve been able to harness that for what we need to do for the remainder of this week.
“I said after the game on Tuesday that the quicker we get to 5,000 people through the gates the better it will be for us all. If that means our fans bring their neighbours, sons, daughters – I don’t mind. It makes it so much easier with the more people we get on board. We are starting something here, there’s no doubt about that, but we need people to help us. All we can say to the fans is come along and hopefully we’ll send them away feeling that they really can be part of what we want to achieve.”
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