MANAGER: The right way to lose

Plymouth Argyle match reaction from the manager

Manager Keith Curle spoke to us shortly after the Plymouth defeat on Saturday evening.

"I've said to the players that part and parcel of competitive games is that you can't win them all," he told us. "If you are going to lose today's performance is the way to do it. We've come to a club who are in form and very buoyant, but we've caused them problems. 

"They were very confident and they had a good understanding of how they wanted to play but, in the end, they wanted the final whistle more than we did and that was very pleasing.

"We did think we'd equalised at the end when we had those two chances cleared off the line. I was waiting for the linesman's flag to go up but unfortunately it didn't come. We got ourselves into that position by keeping ourselves in the game and credit to the lads for that."

"I've got to be honest and I think we looked slightly disjointed in the first 20 minutes or so," he agreed. "We struggled to come to terms with their shape and half time couldn't come quickly enough. That gave me a chance to change things round to give us a better balance. 

"I thought that worked. We were more physical at the back when Sean O'Hanlon stepped in and Matt Robson gave us good balance on the left." 

"We looked dangerous from set plays and when we got the ball into the box," he continued. "On another day it's a game we would have won. 

"I think we saw why it was so important that we extended Hayden [White's] loan. He's a good player and he's really enjoying his football with us. He's enjoying coming in for training knowing he has a purpose at the end of the week. That's because he's been given the chance to play league football. 

"He's been given the freedom to express himself but he's also doing his job defensively. His all round game is constantly improving. It didn't take any convincing to get him to stay and credit has to go to John Nixon for getting it sorted. 

"Not only has he extended Hayden's loan but he's also brought Georg [Iliev] in as well. Georg had two chances today, one of them hit Mark Beck and he is disappointed with the shot he had from the edge of the box. 

"It fell to him and I thought he was going to put it into the top corner. Unfortunately he got underneath it. The pleasing thing we've seen from Georg is that he will get chances in the box and I think, if he puts one away, he can go on a roll. We've had a look at Georg and I also spoke to Hayden about him. He knows Georg well and he's spent a lot of time with him. Hayden didn't have any doubt that we should bring him in so hopefully he can be an important player for us."

On the absence of Steven Rigg, he said: "He has a slight adductor tear. It is only minimal but we didn't think starting him or asking him to sit on a bus for the 15 hour round trip would help him. We decided to leave him at home. Hopefully he can be available for Tuesday." 

"To see our 193 fans applauding us, even after a defeat, is very, very pleasing," he said. "Nobody comes to watch Carlisle at Plymouth on a whim. It isn't something you just wake up and decide to do. A lot of effort, commitment, desire and passion goes in to organising yourself to come down here and I think the minimum we could offer them was that level of performance. Hopefully we've sent them home happy - not with the result but with the desire and application we showed."

"I thought our preparation on the way down was spot on," he explained. "We left very early in the morning. We had a game of bingo on the way down and Steven Pattison brought some great prizes which the players were very impressed with.

"Their goal was a bit lucky but sometimes you get that when you're at home. I've got no doubt we will get a few lucky results and goals in our time, but we have to earn the right to have that first of all. 

"I don't think we stopped them from playing early enough and there was a little bit of confusion about our distances, which you're going to get, because there is only so much we can do on the training ground. We can do extra training when we know we'll be playing against a different formation but you can only paint so many pictures. The last thing you want is the fear factor. We got to grips with the game after the first 20 minutes and we went on to cause them problems."

"The lads won't take much picking up ahead of the game on Tuesday," he insisted. "If you're going to lose you need to lose in the right way and I think we did that today. We won't accept defeat every week because that isn't what we're about. We'll get results and we have to build on how we approached this game.

"We've got two home games coming up which gives us a great opportunity. There is a minimum requirement from our players that we don't approach fixtures with fear. We stop the opposition then we play. That won't ever change." 
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