Keith Curle on managing expectations and setting high targets
Manager Keith Curle spoke more about team selection as United cemented their place in the League Two play-off slots this weekend.
“I want it to be clear that I don’t owe anybody at this club anything,” he said. “Players are chosen to play because I think they have the attributes I need to get us three points.
“Just because there’s been a goal from them, or an assist, or a man of the match display – it doesn’t automatically mean they’ll be playing next week. As I say, that comes down to who I think will get us the points.
“We have conversations with players who are left out because if they don’t make the starting line up after getting a goal, or having played well, they know there’s a reason for it.
“Our strikers are a really good example of how things are being done at this moment in time. They may feel under a bit of pressure, but that isn’t a word to fear. All of the players at this football club are under pressure to give us a good level of performance. If you’re going to be successful you need to surround yourselves with people who are going to be demanding of themselves, and of each other.”
“I wouldn't say it's an easier group to manage now than it was last season,” he commented. “The players are very demanding. They want information and they expect a good level of attention to detail from us, as their coaching staff.
“That’s good for us because we know they won’t let us take our finger off the pulse. They need that information and knowledge to take into games. The players are asking us what else they need to do to get the best out of their performance, and that’s because they want to win games.
“It’s a positive place to be because we're trying to create unity rather than an ‘us and them’ style situation. That includes everybody who is employed by the football club because every single person in there wants to feel part of the success we get on a Saturday afternoon or a Tuesday evening.
“As a club we’re starting to reap the benefits of us all working together. The football club is the hub of this community and, if we start to generate some positivity, it spreads. As the fans start to talk about the enjoyment they’re getting, more people will come.
“We value our supporters and it’s nice to see that more people are coming into Brunton Park. It’s a great place when everyone in this stadium is behind you. The players enjoy being out there because they know their fans want them to do well.”
“There is an increased level of expectation because of the position we’re in, but I don’t mind that,” he added. “That type of expectancy is what I'm all about. I want success and I demand that the players and coaching staff bring everything they've got to the table every single day.
“The more successful we are the more demanding I'm going to be because we want a massive improvement on last season. Part of the contract negotiations I’ve just had were me telling the owners that I'm striving to be successful at this football club.
“It takes a lot of hard work to go from being fourth bottom in the table to being in the top half, but it’s work we’re prepared to do if the ambitions of the staff are matched by the club.
“I don’t mind repeating what I’ve said a few times recently – this club is a good place to be. Overall it’s been an excellent few weeks ... apart from the fact I got a parking ticket on Friday. So maybe it hasn’t been that good after all!”
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.