Keith Curle ahead of the trip to Stevenage
Manager Keith Curle spoke to us ahead of the final away game of the season at Stevenage on Saturday.
“We played Stevenage within three or four games of me taking over and we were only two points behind them at that stage,” he said. “The runs the two sides have been on since then couldn’t be more different. I think the defeat they suffered here was the catalyst to what they’ve achieved since.
“Their manager wouldn’t have been happy with that result and he used that as motivation for his team. It was similar to what happened to us at Accrington Stanley. That performance wasn’t acceptable for us but it was used to make sure we were better going forward.”
“We’ve played well in fits and starts and they’ve had a level of consistency in their performances both individually and as a unit,” he continued. “It won’t always be pretty or pleasing on the eye, but it has been effective.
“They’re a team who put the balls in the right areas and they go into their challenges with belief. They haven’t reinvented the wheel but they’ve played in a way that suits them. They’re a team who will come banging at your door.
“If you give them the space and time they’ll keep coming at you until they open it. We need to keep it bolted before we go on to ask them a few questions. Their fans will have a level of expectancy but we’re not going there to roll over.
“We want to go down there and be proud of the performance we give. As we’ve said before, good teams can do more than have just the three good performances. They can continue it and make it the norm.”
“We go there looking to build on what we’ve just done,” he told us. “We want to see unity within the team framework. We want to continue to see good understanding of our roles and what we’re trying to do. If we get that it will mean the things we’re doing in training are being absorbed by the players.
“We’ve got people here who, on their day, are extremely good players. We need that level of consistency to be improved so we get it all the time. This game is also a chance for us to say thank you to the fans who have been with us on the away trips all the way through the season.
“I can assure you we’ll get up close and personal at the end of the game because we do appreciate what they do for us. We’ll find them, we’ll make sure we go and see them, and we will definitely say thank you very much.”
And the manager reserved a special word of thanks for club sponsor Virgin Trains who will be taking the team to their training venue and hotel for the third time this season.
“It’s a very professional way to travel,” he said. “The mindset of travelling on a Virgin train is completely different for the lads. They look after us really well and it brings a different kind of buzz for the players.
“When we’re on the bus they get onboard and fall asleep. On the train they’re taking everything in and you can see that they feel like they’re a professional footballer.
“It’s a huge thank you from me to the staff at Virgin Trains because it’s a service I really appreciate.”
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.