Keith Curle ahead of Port Vale and the transfer window closure
Manager Keith Curle spoke to us ahead of the Bank Holiday Monday training session to reflect on what was a good week ahead of the trip to Port Vale on Tuesday night.
“A lot of people, but not myself, were saying that the QPR game and the Liverpool draw were going to have a detrimental impact,” he said. “People said it would be a distraction from our main focus, which was obviously Saturday.
“I think that was dispelled comfortably and confidently because we had a never say die attitude and we showed 100% commitment.”
“We're disappointed because we conceded two goals away from home, but we're scoring goals as well,” he added. “We always looked like scoring and we were able to identify weaknesses within the opposition.
“Saturday's game was everything you would expect from a derby game. It wasn't pretty at times but it was a wholehearted and committed performance. There will be games where we're going to have to play League Two football.
“Some of the football we've been trying to serve up has been attractive, but you need to have a full understanding of the situation on a Saturday afternoon or a Tuesday night. Sometimes you need to win ugly. If you're a team capable of winning ugly when needed it's a good trait to have.”
Speaking about the boxes to be ticked, mention at his Friday press conference, he said: “A box we're ticking too regularly is coming from behind and staying in games.
“A first away win in a local derby with fantastic travelling support behind us again is pleasing. There's a confidence that comes with getting that first win which every football club at every level needs. The supporters are buying in now. I went for a walk yesterday and you can tell that people are enjoying the club.
“There are a lot of people behind the scenes at the club who don't get credit for the hard work they do. There are a lot of people in Carlisle with a smile on their face when you mention the club. That's pleasing because it's a fantastic club with some fantastic people working there.
“They have had to face some of the anger that's been surrounding the club in the last few years. Now they can come to work with a smile on their face knowing they're getting the rewards for the work they've put in.”
On the amazing start to the season enjoyed by Jabo Ibehre, he said: “I don't think it's a case of the team fitting with Jabo. I think Jabo fits into the team and the way we want to play.
“Even when you take his goals out of his game, he's giving us a focal point and somebody to play off. When the opposition see him getting off the team coach they know they're going to be in for a tough afternoon.”
Next up for the Blues is the Tuesday night trip to Port Vale for the first round of this season’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy competition.
“Port Vale will be a good test but it's another opportunity for us,” he said. “They had a negative result on Saturday so they'll want a positive response. I don't think they'll play their full starting eleven. They'll utilise their squad, as we will. We've done it before with positive results so I'm expecting exactly the same.
“It's a big pitch down there, probably a similar size to ours, if not bigger,” he told us. “We'll try and earn the right to play football so we can win the game.
“I don't think I'm going to play a weakened team because I haven't got a weak squad. I'm confident the squad can compete in all competitions. If it was the final tomorrow it would potentially be a different team, but we're taking every game on its merits.
“We think we can go there, give a very good account of ourselves and be very competitive. That's what we're looking for in every single game.”
“Injury wise, David Atkinson is probably about a week to ten days away from being back in training. Kevin Osei should be stepping things up with Lee Fearn later this week, and other than Charlie Wyke is obviously still wearing his protective boot.
“The pleasing thing is that when people come out of the team, for various reasons, they know there’s no guarantee that just because they're fit they'll get straight back into it. That shows the strength of the squad. If people are out injured they know they need to work to get back in the team, which is excellent.”
And on the work being done ahead of the tomorrow evening’s 6pm closer of the August transfer window, he said: “There are little bits and pieces going on ahead of tomorrow's deadline.
“John Nixon sent me a text at 6am this morning and I responded before 7am, so that just shows that even if I'm not on camera, or not at the football club, I'm still working and trying to improve things for us.
“That isn't just me, it's all the stakeholders at the club. We’re constantly looking to be productive and progressive.”
United PlayerHD subscribers can see an interview with Keith Curle now. Click HERE to go to the PlayerHD platform. Follow the same link for more information on United PlayerHD, 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.