Keith Curle with reaction to the Oxford United game
Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the dramatic win over Oxford United on Saturday afternoon.
“It was one of those games where, and I have to be honest, we were a little bit disjointed at times,” he said. “I’ve asked the players to find the culprit who has set this trend of ‘let’s see what the manger is like at half time this week.’
“During the team talk before the game I told them there was no point in me actually saying anything at that moment in time. I thought I might as well wait until half time so I could get them out of the poo we were in.
“Fair play, we got a fantastic response from the players. God only knows what’s going to happen if we go in there at nil-nil, or even one or two-nil up, because I won’t know what to say!”
“I don’t think there was much in it in the first half,” he told us. “They came here full of confidence, because of the results they’ve had recently, but I thought we nullified a lot of their attacking impetus. It was a case of us being disjointed in the last 40 seconds of the half and it cost us.
“If you switch off at any level that’s what will happen to you. Sometimes, when that does happen, you look for a reaction and that’s what we got. We came out in the second half and we competed very well, even though it wasn’t pretty. It was one of those games where it was never going to be good on the eye but we stuck to our task and we got on the front foot very quickly in the second half.”
On the goals, he said: “I’m really pleased for Mark Beck. He’s going to come in for criticism because he’s a big lad and he has to be a target man. What he does won’t always be pretty and he’ll need that close range header in the box every now and then.
“You earn the right to get one of those by working hard outside the box. He’s a frustrating player to play against for defenders and I thought he made himself available and did well. The easiest thing to do for any player is to hide when things aren’t going your way. He doesn’t do that. He always prepares himself properly and he’s prepared to be the focal point of the team, which I think is important.”
“Again, we’re really pleased for Derek Asamoah,” he continued. “There’s a thing in football that if you get across your man at the front post then things happen. You have to get across the keeper’s and defender’s eye line and wait for that touch or ricochet.
“It’s an instinctive finish and he will keep getting into areas on the pitch where he’ll score goals. There are things you can’t coach and being in the right place at the right time is one of them.”
On the performance, he said: “The players are enjoying the hard work and they’ve come off the pitch having emptied the tank. We keep saying that’s the minimum requirement and the lads are doing it for us. They’ve emptied the tank physically and emotionally in this one.
“A really good thing from the day was the crowd stayed with us. All the way through the second half they were there for us. That’s exactly what we need. The players will react to that kind of thing. When you go one down you wonder if there is going to be a bit of frustration. We’re not getting that because the supporters know their players are giving everything.”
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