Press conference thoughts from Keith Curle
Manager Keith Curle spoke to us about the task ahead as he starts his first full week in his new post.
“It feels excellent to be part of this club,” he said. “It’s been a long time for me to have had to wait to get back into the game.
“You look around and when you think there might be an opening you try to prepare yourself in the best way you can. I did the same with Carlisle United and I’ve spoken to some former managers, Paul Simpson and Clive Middlemass, and they have some very fond memories of being here.
“The foundations are definitely in place and I know what to expect from the supporters. I also know what to offer them playing style wise. They want to see application, dedication and commitment. I’ll endeavour to give them that and potentially we’re going to see a very good blend. My aim is to create a wave here and to get everyone behind me. I need everyone in the community to get on board but I also know we need to bring the results along to achieve that.”
“This is definitely my biggest challenge,” he confirmed. “We're bottom of the league and everybody is looking at us. The league position is a direct reflection on the football department. I’m head of that and the staff are part of it. The focus is on us and people want a reaction. The club needs a leader and an organiser and that’s what I intend to be.”
“In terms of the coaching staff, there is always room for improvement,” he commented. “Colin West is a fantastic coach and I enjoy working with him. I have some fantastic coaching ideas but I don’t want to coach every day. I don’t want the players to get tired of my voice. I like to keep my input to the last 15 or 20 minutes of the session so the players know exactly what I want.
“Paul Thirlwell will remain as a player-coach but he’s mindful that his best asset, at the moment, is as a player. He’s put one foot in the camp and we will still look to develop his role in the football club. However, we need to make sure that doesn’t detract in any way on what he can offer me on the pitch.”
“What I will look to do now is to create an environment where players are happy to express themselves,” he explained. “I’m very mindful of the fact I’ve walked into a football club that is fragile. One of my first impressions was going into the coaching and manager’s area, and it just wasn’t for me. It was messy, untidy and there are leftovers from previous regimes. I want a clean slate so my first job was to have a complete clear out to make the office area feel like it was my own.
“I’m doing the same to the coaching area because that is going to be our football hub. We will go in there and we will talk football. The medical department will have their own office, the strength and conditioning will have their own area, and the coaching office will become a very football based part of the club.”
“I know if I can get the playing side of things right the fans will back us,” he continued. “They voiced their opinion in the first half on Saturday and you couldn’t really argue with the chants of ‘we’re not very good’. The pleasing thing was that they stayed with us, even though we were 3-0 down at half time. Credit to them for that. They then saw the start of the rebuilding process that’s in place at this football club with what we did in the second half.
“That is what we will build on. As I said on Saturday, the first half performance, individually and collectively, will stay with me for a long time. That kind of thing needs to be eradicated. We need to give more of what we saw in the second half because that’s more indicative of the way I want my team to play.
“I’m still going through the finding out process at the moment. The most important thing for me is to know exactly what I’ve got in that dressing room so I know what I can call upon. I don’t want to be in a position where I’m asking players to do something I don’t think they can do. My ethos is to get the best out of players. Some people need a kick up the backside and some need an arm round them. I’ll do whatever it takes to make my players feel they can express themselves.”
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