Keith Curle on his first week at the club
Manager Keith Curle spoke to us about his first week of work at Brunton Park.
“It’s been an excellent week,” he said. “I’ve had a good look round the place, done a bit of tidying up and I’m finding my feet and getting to know people’s names.
“I’m finding out about what the roles and responsibilities are of people behind the scenes and it’s all been very interesting. I’ve given myself a clean slate by getting the office areas down to the carpets and walls.
“I’ve done the same with the medical department and the strength and conditioning area. As I’ve said before, we’re creating a football hub where we can discuss all of our football matters in the coaches office and all of that is starting to come together.”
“The atmosphere in and around the football club is fantastic,” he added. “I thought I was going to come in and see a lot of disheartened people who spent all day staring at the league table. There’s an honest and genuine belief that the football club is in a false position, but it does need direction.
“People are looking at me now and saying that I’m talking the talk, and now it’s time for me to deliver. That’s what I’m looking forward to – delivering.”
“I think one of the problems is that there’s a lot of baggage,” he commented. “When you look around and see things which have been there for years and years you think – let’s just clear out and start again.
“As I say, the club has a great feeling about it. There is a real willingness to help. I get the impression from the people I’ve come into contact with they are ready for a change. They wanted someone to come in and tell them it needed to be done a different way and they’ve all responded.”
“Training on Monday and Tuesday was very good,” he confirmed. “We saw good application, good awareness and good attentiveness. Players wanted to do well, but I would expect that.
“They were given a free rein to express themselves at the start of the week. Training today will be a truth and honesty session and then we’ll go onto the pitch and start to formulate a plan.
“Today is the first day whereby I’ll be addressing the players in a slightly different manner to what they’ve been used to. I want the players to get to know what they think about each others strengths and weaknesses – not only as players but as professionals. I feel it’s important for them to find out what they think about each other.
“It’s going to be an open debate. You pull a name out of the hat and you discuss a plus and a minus about that person. You get to say what the player brings to the team and you also talk about what you think they aren’t doing. Sometimes the best person to hear a bit of honesty from is another player in the dressing room. When you hear it from your peers it makes you more determined to do something about it.
“I’ve never had a problem with telling somebody they aren’t doing what they should be doing. It’s when you get honesty that it can make you stop, think and take a look at yourself.
“I think the players have wanted a leader. They needed somebody to come in and give them direction. That’s what I will do with them on a daily basis. They will know exactly what their responsibility is within the team framework and within the dressing room.”
“We have two young players in from Wigan for me to have a look at for the next few days,” he revealed. “They’re looking for an opportunity to start their league career and I’ve had fantastic reports about them.
“Luckily enough, because of my relationship with Uwe Rosler from my playing days, we haven’t had to commit ourselves as a football club. We’re able to have a look at them to see exactly what they can bring. I don’t want to change things just for the sake of change at the moment. If we find people I think will add to what we have then I’ll look at it and, if they’re good enough, we’ll make it happen.
“A lot of managers do loan deals on recommendations and on paper reports. Sometimes you commit your club to a month when it turns out the player isn’t exactly what you want him to be. As a personal favour from Uwe we’ve been allowed to see where these lads are. It’s the kind of favour I’ll be pulling in from other clubs along the way as well.”
United Player subscribers can see a series of video interviews with Keith Curle now. Click HERE to go to the Player platform. Follow the same link for more information on United Player, and to subscribe.
to see a clip from this interview on our YouTube channel. Follow the same link for more FREE content right from the heart of the club.