Manager Keith Curle with reaction to the QPR victory
Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the fantastic Capital One Cup second round away victory at Loftus Road.
“I think the players needed that,” he said. “They’ve got to get the praise and the accolades for sticking to the beliefs I’m implementing within the team. Players need pats on the back and they've got that from this.
“And that’s not only because of the result, but for the performance. We came to a very good football club and we imposed ourselves on a very good team. We got the reward for the work we did and that’s always a good thing.”
“When you come here you've got to have a game plan, which we did,” he explained. “QPR changed their team, but so did we. Out of respect for QPR we changed our formation which is something we knew we had to do to stop them from playing.
“I came up with a formation which you can only call ‘a box’ in our midfield. Gary Dicker and Luke Joyce were at the base of the box and Antony Sweeney and Angelo Balanta were at the top of it. We worked on it by playing 4v3 in midfield and we made sure we knew we had to keep possession of the ball until we could get our spare man into space. It worked for us but, as I say, we were disappointed when they scored within a couple of minutes. That’s something we have to look at but there’s still a lot of praise for our players.”
“The new formation meant some of our players had to take on board new instructions,” he commented. “We’ve got a very attentive group and they’re able to do that. I’ve got to do things in a way I think will get us results. I went through what I thought their formation was going to be and I thought about how we could impose ourselves and give them some problems.
“We take every game on its own merits. Tactically, we look at each opposition and if things need to be done differently in terms of selection and personnel then we've got to do it. A lot of people will have looked at the team sheet tonight and thought it was negative, but it was attack minded.
“Derek [Asamoah] works better up front on his own than he does when he's got a partner, in my opinion. It's a strange phenomenon but, if I'm going to play one up top, I like having Derek in my armoury.
“I don't mind getting criticised during the first ten minutes of a home or away game because I've picked the wrong team. I think a lot of people are now seeing the quality we've got in the squad. They'll all have their own opinion, but I think it's excellent because I don't just want a squad of 14. I want a squad of 21 or 22 who are all able to play.”
“In terms of work to do, I was disappointed at half time and I had to tell the players that. That wasn’t because of the effort, or the style of play, but the thing I couldn’t believe was when we put the ball in the back of their net we ran back to the halfway line.
“I had to ask them why they would do that. Did they want to get back there to score another goal? They’re playing away from home, against a Championship club who have just dropped out of the Premier League, and they did that. It should have been about killing the game and being professional. That tells me a little bit of game management is still needed, but it is gradually creeping into us.”
On the travelling fans, he said: “It was good that we scored in front of our own supporters. I hope the QPR fans don’t think we were over-celebrating when we went over to them at full time. We were just showing our appreciation for the miles the fans cover and for the support we get from our away fans.
“At times all I could hear was ‘Carlisle United, Blue and White Army’ and that is fantastic. They'll have had a very happy journey home because they've seen their team compete against a very good football club.”
“It is always nice to come back to a club where you enjoyed yourself,” he admitted. “A couple of people from behind the scenes have told us they like the way we play. Occasions like this help to build the pillars and foundations of what we want to be about. Ultimately we want to win games and we’ve shown again that we have goals and we have an attacking threat.
“The players were a bit nervous before the game so I had to settle them down. I reminded them that we don’t want any fear in our game at this club. That means they have to be brave and they have to get out there to play.
“The planning and preparation was excellent. The football club has to take praise for that. They’ve gone the extra mile to make sure everything was right for us and they’ve overspent on what we normally spend on accommodation to make sure we’re in the right area and the right distance away from the ground.”
On the players not involved in the match day squad, he said: “Kevin Osei is still carrying his knock and Charlie Wyke picked up a knock in training on Tuesday.
“That's part and parcel of football and it's why we travel with 20 players. Somebody stood on Charlie's foot in training, so we'll get him assessed and hopefully it will settle down.”
And on the third round draw which takes the Cumbrians to Merseyside, he said: “This will give the players a spring in their step.
“They’ve played really well and their reward is to go and face one of the top clubs in the country. It’s one for everyone to look forward and, again, we will go there to do things properly. I don’t need to tell anyone about the quality they have right through their squad, at all levels, but we need to go there without fear and with every intention of doing things the way we have been doing.
“It’s a great draw for us but it’s about a month away and we need to make sure we are focused on the league points which are available. We need to maintain the standards we’ve set and make sure we get league victories over the line. Then we really will all have smiles on our faces.”
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