Keith Curle on the Accrington Stanley postponement
Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to this morning’s news that the Boxing Day away game at Accrington Stanley had been postponed due to the heavy rainfall over the festive period.
“It’s obviously very disappointing because the mindset and preparation from everyone was geared towards us having a game today,” he said. “Having said that, and having seen the pictures coming out of Accrington, we fully understand the problems they’re facing at the moment.
“I know they wanted a fixture as much as we did but none of us can do anything about the impact weather like this has. It’s happened, it’s where we are, so we all just have to deal with it.”
“The situation isn’t ideal for us because we already knew that we’d lost our game on Monday as well,” he added. “It means the players have had an extended winter break, in terms of competitive game time, but we will use the positives from that rather than dwell on any of the negatives there might be.
“This is another of the challenges we spoke about. It’s another situation to be met head on, so we’ll get together as a coaching and football staff and restructure the training week ahead to make sure we get the most out of our players.
“The right decision has been made with the game being called off, so we will now see this as a game in the bank. It’s one we will play at some stage in the next couple of months and we’ll look to get maximum points from it, as we do with every game.”
“The good thing is that the other side of the operation continues,” he explained. “The scouting schedule was finalised and booked a few days ago, so we’ll have people at the games we’d targeted.
“I’ll be looking closely at our weekly programme because we had issued a 15-day schedule to the squad ahead of the festive period. Written at the bottom of that was – subject to change – because there was always a danger of it being affected by the weather.
“This won’t faze the group because one of the things they’ve shown us this season is that they’re adaptable. They also treat it the same way as we do - as another challenge to be faced head on. They’ve been taken out of their comfort zone, because the match preparation has been interrupted, but I know they’ll already be thinking about Plymouth next Saturday.
“I’m going to let them spend more time with their families today and they’ll be informed of the new schedule as soon as it’s finalised. I know, without doubt, that they’ll be up and ready to go for our next match day.”
“We always take positives out of every situation and this has given more time to those players who have been suffering with niggles,” he said. “Luke Joyce is one of those, so he now has another week where he can work on his programme and build himself up even more.
“Alex Gilliead definitely would not have been available for selection this afternoon so it’s a similar situation for him. Hallam Hope and Tom Miller were the two other doubts we had, so all four of those lads will be looking to make the best of the fact it’s a game they possibly would have missed. Now they’ll be available for the rearranged date.”
“As I say, the work goes on for me today,” he concluded. “I’ll make sure things are followed up and that everyone keeps their focus on the job we have to do. Improvement comes from dealing with setbacks positively and in the right way. We have adopted that mentality this season and we will continue to take every situation as it comes.”