Keith Curle on doing things differently and improvement
Manager Keith Curle spoke to us about the need to do things differently as he begins to look ahead to the 2015/16 campaign.
“I think Saturday will feel strange for a lot of people because it’s very difficult to celebrate finishing fourth or fifth bottom of the league,” he said. “That isn’t something the club would have set out with the intention of doing at the start of the season.
“There has to be a realisation that the football club was potentially going in the wrong direction and out of the Football League. That could have happened, so now is the time for reflection on what it was we did to cause that potential risk. Once we’ve identified the areas we need to make sure those things are done differently.”
“Looking back, I came into this club with an open mind,” he told us. “Hindsight is a fantastic thing and there are a large amount of things I would do differently second time around, with that benefit of hindsight.
“I know exactly what is in that changing room now and I also know what’s needed going forward. The remit when I came in was for me to retain league status. For the next stage, we need to get this season out of the way by finishing it off properly.
“It would be really nice to send the supporters away from Brunton Park on Saturday having seen a good game at the end of a season which had had a lot of turmoil, heartache and twists and turns. There have been some plus points with some good, young players coming through who have now experienced a tough relegation battle.
“A lot of questions have been asked of us individually, and collectively, and the pleasing thing is that we have people here who have handled it well. They can only benefit from that.
“Our aim next season has to be to be better than this. Unless you’re winning the Premier League every season then there is always room to improve. In the situation we're in, down in the bottom tier of the Football League, we need to do things differently to get different and more successful results. I’m looking forward to making that the case.”
Looking ahead to the decisions to be made on players to be released and retained, he said: “I’ll be having conversations with all of our players next Tuesday. That’s the time when they will know my exact thoughts for their future.
“I think the right thing to do with this process is for us all to have the evening with our sponsors and fans on Sunday, so we can say thank you to them, and we can also say thank you to some of the people who work tirelessly at this club to keep it running on a day to day basis. They don’t always get the recognition they deserve.
“Having done that we can then go into next week where we can start the process of looking at what we want to do for next season. Part of that will obviously be the talks I have with the lads.”
“It’s fair to say we have a lot of work to do through the summer,” he said. “We’ll get the Hartlepool game out of the way and then, once we’ve spoken to the players, we can close the door on this season and move on.
“We do have players here who are under contract for next season and we’re a very honourable football club. My job is to identify players who I don’t think are in my plans and be honest about that with them. When it comes down to it, players are here to play football and I know there are very few who want to take their money and not do that.
“Nobody can afford to have a year out of the game because they all have careers to think about. I don’t think any player enjoys their name not being on the squad list. Those who haven’t been on the pitch for the amount of time their profession requires will probably want to ply their trade elsewhere, if that opportunity arises for them.”
And on the teams who have dropped out of the Football League, he said: “I can only sympathise with Tranmere and Cheltenham. They'll both be looking at what went wrong and why they've ended up in the position they're in.
“You need to identify those things so you can do things differently. When I first walked in the building a few people were saying we were too big a club to go down. I think a lot of people around Tranmere will have been saying the same things. It can be a lesson to us all.”
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