Keith Curle with reaction to the Cambridge game
Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the 4-4 draw with Cambridge on Saturday afternoon.
“It was a good game of football between two competitive teams,” he said. “There were different ways to score goals and of trying to play the game. Our players took the wrong options, at times, but it’s all a learning curve for them.
“I don’t mind that at all and I’ll accept it. We’re finding out about what we have in the changing room because we were two goals down and nobody got off the bus.
“There are certain things we’re doing which could be done differently but we are by no means the finished article. The pillars are in place from where we can grow. There’s no fear factor in how we’re going to play because I know where the changing room is going.”
“If you’re behind at home, in front of your own supporters, then it’s very easy to take a step back and hide,” he continued. “None of the players did that. They were slapped in the face a couple of times because even at 2-2 I thought the half time team talk was sorted. Next thing we see is that we’re 3-2 down.
“However, I still want to highlight the positives. I don’t point the finger because we have good players who know when they’ve taken the wrong option. All you need to do is see the effort from the players in the last five minutes and you can see they’re emptying the tank. You can’t ask for any more than that.
“If these lads keep trying to make their passes and play the game the way we want to play it, I’ll stick with them. It’s bearing fruit because we’re scoring goals.”
“The mistakes we made today were obvious,” he added. “We’ll iron them out and we have to remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. Likewise Carlisle United wasn’t resurrected in a summer. There’s a work ethic and enjoyment level in that changing room and you get that from facing up to games like this.
“They say good teams win 1-0. I was involved in a team at Wimbledon which did that, but we were predictable. I moved on from there to go to teams where there was more freedom in how we were allowed to play. That’s what I want to create here.
“I’ve spoken to the players about the fact that for us to grow we need to see how they react when things aren’t going for them. You find out more about them when they’re two down than you do when they’re two up.”
On the 6,000 plus crowd, he said: “That’s absolutely fantastic. They’ve had a taste of what we’ve been saying we would do, which is to entertain. You can’t tell me that even one Carlisle fan has gone home today thinking the game was only alright. They’ve seen their squad give everything.
“We’ve heard whisperings recently that Carlisle United have done this before, where they treat the fans to a good game on a Tuesday and then they let everybody down. This is a new Carlisle. We’re determined not to let anybody down. I know they’ll get frustrated, and so will I, but I know we’re all working to a plan.
“I’ve got the lads in the Paddock behind me coaching me and telling me what I should be doing. I want us all to win together and I don’t want to lose on my own.
“What I mean by that is I want there to be unity because this football club belongs to our fans. I want them to be part of it and to cheer as loud as they can. If a player chooses the wrong option then encourage them, because they’re out there on the pitch wanting to do the right thing.
“I made sure everybody applauded all three sides of the stands for us because I think it’s important for us to acknowledge their support. What they bring is massive to us and there will be those games where things don’t quite go our way. They stuck with us today and they got their rewards as well.”
Speaking about Joe Thompson’s debut, he said: “We kept Joe out there to give him some game time. He’s been chomping at the bit and the mileage you cover in that role is hard work.
“He’s played that position before and I knew he’d be flagging at the end. He didn’t offer as much as he’s got in the locker going forward, because the ball stuck under his feet a few times, but he’s one who is feeling his way into the football club. We’ll see another side to him once he’s fully up and running.”
“Overall we are really pleased,” he told us. “We’re playing a style of football where we will score goals. Today was a day where you couldn’t play through lines because they had obviously done their homework. They stifled some of our play but we were able to cope.
“The pleasing thing is that I have a Plan B. Plan B is more of Plan A. I know our lads are going to empty their tanks to get us results and that is very important.
“The lads are sat there thinking they should have won that. I think they could have won it as well. We look good going forward at the moment and we want to keep it that way. If you want to score goals it can involve taking risks in certain areas.”
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