Tranmere Rovers match reaction from Keith Curle
Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the 1-0 home victory over Tranmere Rovers on Saturday evening.
“I think the players needed that result more than I did,” he said. “Myself, Colin [West] and the staff know how to win football matches. We have belief in what we do and we think the preparation and set up works for us to go out and win games.
“I know I’ve taken over a football club that is a little bit fragile. The players needed the win and they needed to find a little bit of belief in themselves. We know where we are – bottom of the league and four points adrift.
“The players needed that performance as well as the result because it gives them something to build on. I take on board that it wasn’t the prettiest game and we are by no means the finished article. However, what we want is that winning mentality and this is a step to getting that.”
“This is a continuation of what we started in the second half at Mansfield,” he added. “People will start to come on board with what we’re trying to do because they’ll see we will be winning a few games. I want to see the players doing their bit as part of it.”
“We have a motto in the dressing room that is now a minimum requirement,” he explained. “It tells the players to stop the opposition from playing, then we go and play. We show the opposition the respect they deserve in every game but we stop them from playing and then we go out and play our game.
“I keep saying that one of the things I had to do here was turn a squad of players into a team. That’s the mindset of the coaching staff. We have a squad of players we need to work with and we need to get the best out of them we possibly can. We need to maximise their potential and then add the winning mentality. You only get that on Saturdays and Tuesdays when you’re out there on the grass.”
“A result like this gives us something to build on,” he said. “We have to remember we are a work in progress and there is a lot to be done here. We had a slight change of formation so the players had to go out and be brave.
“They know it’s a new regime but we gave them a clear set of instructions. We told them to go out and play because I need the players to have that freedom to earn the right to do what we know they can do. We have to understand that we’re bottom of the league and teams think they can come here and roll us over. That has got to stop. Once we’ve stopped people from seeing us as a soft touch we’ll be able to go and play our style of football.”
On the Football League debut for keeper Dan Hanford, he said: “I thought he was excellent. He’s a confident young man and I talked to him a couple of times when I found out Mark [Gillespie] wasn’t playing.
“I asked him if he wanted to play and he told me he was ready. He doesn’t get flustered and you need that from your keeper, particularly when he’s the number two. Now he has the opportunity to see if he can keep that number one shirt.
“I was told on Friday morning that Mark couldn’t play after he came to tell me he wasn’t right. We’re hoping it won’t be as bad as first diagnosed but we wish him luck with his recovery. With the type of professional he is I know he’ll do everything he can to get back as quickly as possible. Dan was ready to step up and cover but I think Tony Caig was more nervous about the fact he was going to be on the bench!”
“We got a solid defensive performance and it’s good for David [Amoo] that he got another goal,” he commented. “I’ve seen him before and I know what he’s got to offer. I think the one thing I can say is that his game awareness is something I can improve on. He’s a dangerous player and he’s the type the opposition won’t like. He can open doors because he’s a flair player. What he needs is a regular supply of the ball because then he can put anybody on their toes when he’s got it.”
“We’re constantly assessing things but I’ve told everyone I don’t want to bring anyone in as a knee jerk reaction,” he confirmed. “We still have players who haven’t had the opportunity to get game time. I’m going to try and give them that but, as I keep saying, I’m only going to change things if I think they need changing. The real job is to get points for this club and that’s what we will continue to work to do.
“I take pride in what I do and it means a lot to me to get three points. We do need to see confidence in the dressing room because with that you have a real foundation to build from. The mentality I need in the changing room is the level of horribleness you see in players at higher levels of the game. They’re playing for exactly the same thing we’re playing for. Three points are at stake when you get to 3pm and you go out there and do everything you can to get them.”
“The fans were excellent today,” he concluded. “I’ve spoken to people affiliated to this club and I know if you can get something started here then people will come and get on board. I’ve been staying in the town centre and there has been a fantastic reaction from the people of Carlisle.
“The thing is, they’re all wishing me well but it’s almost as if they’re hiding something. It’s like they’re saying ‘good luck – you’re going to need it.’ I do need the luck but the more people I can get on board, through the bad times as well, I’m sure the good times will come. I think the supporters have seen the beginning of something which can happen at this football club and hopefully they will now stick with us.”
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