Keith Curle on being manager of Carlisle UnitedWe caught up with new United boss Keith Curle at the Derby County training ground shortly after his appointment had been confirmed on Friday afternoon.
"This is a very real challenge," he said. "I started at the bottom in my playing career and worked my way up to the top through a lot of hard work and dedication. We need to do the exact same job here because it's obvious where we are in the league.
"It's been made clear to me through some very honest meetings with the board what is required and I think I can bring that to the table. I'm professional, disciplined and organised and I've got a good eye for emerging talent. I know how the game needs to be played to win points, which is obviously vitally important."
"Over my managerial career I've seen the best and worst of Carlisle United," he told us. "I came to Brunton Park with Notts County not long ago and we gave Carlisle a footballing lesson, to be quite frank. We won 4-0 and put in a very good performance.
"After speaking to the owners and the chairman I knew this was a good club," he told us. "I've actually just met Paul Simpson, because we're training at Derby's training ground, and the first thing he said to me was what a great club this is. The foundations are in place, it needs tinkering with, and it needs me to do what I do best and get the best out of players. I need to maximise their potential and get results. I'm confident I can do that.
"I watched the game at Shrewsbury on Tuesday and there is always room for improvement, especially when you're bottom of the league. I've just spoken to the players and I've told them they all have a clean slate and a fresh start - apart from Billy Paynter who I tried to sign at Notts County. He turned me down to go to Doncaster! I know the qualities he's got and I'm looking forward to getting the chance to work with him and the rest of the lads."
"I was desperate to get back involved and I know the foundations at the football club, I know how the club wants to play the game and I just want to get started. I actually can't wait to meet the groundsman when I go into work on Monday because every time I've been to Brunton Park the playing surface has been unbelievable. I've spoken to the chairman about that and he said it hasn't changed, so I need to know what he does because it's phenomenal."
"I'm looking forward to seeing the crowd," he said. "I saw them turn on Greg Abbott because of how we played on the day we won 4-0, so I know that if I can get them on my side, and really behind us as a team, we can turn it into a real fortress and get results.
"I've heard from the chairman about some of the players who aren't playing at the moment. There is enough in the dressing room, in my opinion, but there is also room for improvement for me to be able to do some deals.
"I have set myself a target," he revealed. "I need the supporters to get on board with me. I know there will be some positive and some negative reactions but I know that if they give me the opportunity, and they come into it with an open mind, then they will enjoy watching their team.
"There is a little bit of room for manoeuvre in terms of the acquisition of players, as long as it's in line with the budget we have in place," he said. "Every League Two club has financial restraints and we're no different. Having said that, some players might have to move on to further their career so we'll see how all of that goes. I need to get the strongest team possible on the pitch, week in week out, and I'm confident I can do that."