Keith Curle at his Thursday morning press conference
Manager Keith Curle spoke to us about getting ready to go again at his Thursday morning press conference.
“What happened on Tuesday night is still painful,” he said. “However, there are massive positives to take out of that game. First and foremost, there was no fear going into it and that was good to see.
“Our game plan went to plan, in its majority, because we stopped a very good side from playing the way they wanted to. Of course there were negatives as well, and a lot of people won’t have noticed that I stayed out there after the game.
“I saw their players celebrating with their supporters and I wanted to watch that. I’ll use it as motivation because it’s a game we should have won. It should have been us celebrating with our supporters.
“Managers and coaches get their drive and motivation from different places and scenarios. Mine, on Tuesday night, was watching that celebration and I used it as a reminder that we’re nowhere near sprinting yet. However, we’re going in the right direction and that’s important.”
“Thinking back to the Accrington game, the board went up to show there was five minutes left to go, and we kept the ball in the opposition half for all of it,” he added. “I think certain players got caught up in it on Tuesday night and, rather than putting the ball into the corner, it was crossed into the box.
“We also got a corner and, instead of keeping it short and wasting time, we pushed to try and get a second goal. That’s down to game management, but it’s all history now. We learn from it and we make sure we take the positives and attitude into the game on Saturday.”
On the late switch of keeper Mark Gillespie, he said: “He’s gone for a scan on his groin and we’ll have to wait for the results to find out the exact extent of his injury. It’s disappointing for the lad because he’d been out injured and he came back with a good mindset and in good physical shape.
“I was actually sat having a cup of tea and watching the TV when Paul Thirlwell knocked on the door to tell me we had a situation. There was no panic because Dan Hanford came in and did exceptionally well. Out of disappointment another door opens, because this gives him another opportunity to come back in and show us what he can do.
“With Troy [Archibald-Henville], we are governed by him with his ongoing knee problem. It was out of precaution that he didn’t play on Tuesday, not out of necessity, so we expect him to be back in contention for the weekend. He’s also had an issue with his ankle, but he’s been able to manage that. It hasn’t been easy for him because he hasn’t been able to train and play as consistently as he would have liked. However, he’s still been able to perform well.
“Kyle Dempsey was missing out of stupidity and that’s something he will learn from. He’s accepted an internal fine, which was administered by the club captain, the PFA representative and Kyle himself. They worked out a percentage figure of his wage, which was deemed acceptable, and that shows unity is growing within the camp.”
Speaking about the blossoming strike partnership between Charlie Wyke and Steven Rigg, he said: “We’re pleased with the way Charlie and Riggy have worked together. It isn’t just Riggy working hard and Charlie getting the goals, they’re sharing the load.
“The goals will come again for Riggy, and we saw they had two chances each on Tuesday. The keeper made two great saves from Riggy, but it will happen for him because he keeps getting in the right places.
“All of our players know they’ve got to perform to keep their place. They need to keep producing the goods to get in the team, and that includes during training. If they turn up thinking they don’t have to put the effort in, they will then run the risk of not being involved for Saturday. We have a squad of 21 or 22 fit players and I know I can play the large majority of them at the drop of a hat. That’s the level of competition I want.”
“This is an enjoyable place to be at the moment and part of my job now is to pick the lads up,” he said. “I don’t walk in here with a sad face and I won’t keep going over what could have been.
“What could have been doesn’t happen in football. There’s a result at the end of every game and you have to learn from it, good or bad, and move on. I said it the other day, there are lots of pats on the backs to be had, and I acknowledge that, but we ultimately lost a game of football.”
And on activity to be expected in the emergency loan window, he said: “There won’t be any immediate movement, but I have got areas I think we will be able to improve on. We’re doing a lot more research at the moment because I’m very big on bringing in the right characters.
“There are people out there with good ability, but I also want the mentality to go with it. I’m trying to create a blend here that has a good understanding of what we’re trying to create. I need players, young or experienced, who will buy into it with us. When we find them, and if the move is right, we’ll do what we can to make it happen.”
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