Keith Curle on earning rewards and having licence to play
Manager Keith Curle spoke more about the positive feeling around the dressing room following a good opening first week of the new season.
“There are differences in the environment and also in the mentality,” he said. “The players have got a good understanding that the football club are doing everything they can for the playing staff. That's important for the players because they feel as if they belong and they're embedded in the club.
“We've got a good blend in that changing room. We're in a results industry and the philosophy we're trying to create has to have rewards. The rewards are there and there are a lot of stats you could pick out from the games we’ve played which are positives.
“We can look at stats but ultimately the one that matters is attempts on our goal compared to our attempts on goal. We don't want to be a passing team without penetration. You could hear the supporters enjoying some of the passages of play. There were a few gasps when Mark [Gillespie] was rolling the ball out but a few passes later, when we were over the half way line, there was applause. That’s exactly what we’re trying to achieve.”
“I think our recruitment policy has been justified because the players have been given a licence to go and play,” he commented. “When you see some of the effort and hard work the players are putting in it brings me back to the day we had at Cassius Camps.
“When the players think they can't give any more, they know there’s more in there. If you tell yourself you can do it, you can do it.”
On the changes to the starting line up on Tuesday, he said: “There will be rotation and that’s down to the quality of the squad. People have got to earn the right to stay in the team. If players perform to the maximum, and we get good results, there’ll be selection headaches for myself.
“When we pick a team on a Thursday it’s done for three points on a Saturday. Every game has got its own merits so there won't be sentiment. One day a week I'm going to be a bad person to somebody, but it's all about gaining three points. They know I don't owe anybody anything and nobody has a divine right to be in the team.
“We do have players who have been made available but I said on the first day of pre-season that those players on the transfer list would be treated as professionals. They’ve got to earn the rewards. Performances like we saw from Gary [Dicker], for example, will earn him rewards.”
And on the growing excitement and anticipation following the two good displays, he said: “We do need to keep feet on the ground, but I also want to build optimism. There’s been a lot of 'feeling down' time in the last few years at this club, so things have to be done differently.
“We want the supporters to get on board. I'll be disappointed if we don't get a few extra faces here on Saturday because that will be a massive game.”