Keith Curle with reaction to the Stevenage game
Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the away defeat at Stevenage on Saturday evening.
“That’s a performance I’m not happy with,” he said. “There were so many things within the game we didn’t do properly.
“There are things within the fabric of our performances we need to change moving forward. Much of what we saw has confirmed what’s needed, in my own mind, if we want to create a winning mentality and a winning environment.”
“We have a culture at this football club where people are told they’re unlucky if they’ve been trying to do the wrong things,” he continued. “If you’re continually doing the wrong things you aren’t going to get the right results.
“To me, that means you don’t do it. You definitely don’t give praise if it is done, because what we want to see is everyone doing the right things. If a mistake is made when people are trying to do the right things you can handle that.
“If you look at Stevenage today you see they did the right things consistently, and that’s why they are where they are. We were guilty of giving the ball straight back to them as soon as we won it. They didn’t have to work to get it off us because we handed it over far too cheaply. All the time you’re thinking that all we needed to do was keep it and, if we had, we’d have given ourselves the opportunity to get our own game up and running.”
“The disappointing thing is that we saw a really high intensity level against Plymouth last week,” he said. “I do take on board there has been a lot of pressure on the players recently and they’ve relaxed mentally because a weight was lifted off their shoulders.
“You could see the atmosphere had changed after we got the results we needed. I do know it’s difficult to raise yourself if there’s nothing really riding on a game, but that shouldn’t mean you allow for something like this.
“I’ve pulled the players up a number of times this week and told them that we didn’t want another performance which was way below where we need it to be. We saw fits and starts, and we had a couple of chances, but we struggled to get to any kind of tempo.”
“We were very static in our play and we looked lacklustre for too long,” he commented. “That was nothing to do with the preparation ahead of the game because that side of it was spot on.
“We travelled in a great way, we had a very good training surface and everything was put on a plate for the players. Unfortunately they didn’t perform. Everyone who watches this team has seen the performance levels and they know where we are in the league.
“We’re in this situation because it’s been accepted that people are allowed to make the wrong decisions. That’s what leads to performances which aren’t good enough, individually and collectively. It’s something we’re going to change because things need to improve for next season.”
“I keep repeating myself but we can’t accept below par any more,” he said. “The bar needs to be raised and standards need to be raised. For the team to be representative of myself, and how I want the game to be played, there is a lot of hard work to do.
“I know exactly what’s inside the football club now. I know what I have in the building and I know what level of performance I can get from them. There are people who are under contract for next season and I want to be able to bring players in who I think are made of the right stuff.
“I want my players to be competitive and I want this team to become known for giving it everything, whether it’s a friendly or three points up for grabs. That’s the mentality which wins you points.
“We can’t be satisfied with games like this. There is more to come from Carlisle United Football Club and, in my opinion, they’ve gone as low as they need to go. Now is the time for us to start the rebuild. We need to gather a bit of momentum and reinstall the values which will bring us success.”
“The Stevenage players and staff were out on the pitch celebrating at the end and we want to see some of that for us,” he concluded. “All the planning going forward is about us being successful. The easy thing will be for us to improve on what we’ve done this season, because we haven’t been good enough.
“We need to organise ourselves to achieve success and part and parcel of that will be our recruitment policy. I need players who are right mentally, tactically and character-wise. Nobody is going to be allowed to accept mediocrity. We simply have to improve – nothing else is even remotely acceptable.”