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MANAGER: It'll be nice to go back

16 January 2015

Keith Curle ahead of the weekend trip to Wimbledon

Manager Keith Curle spoke to us about the trip to Wimbledon this weekend.

“It’ll be nice to go back,” he said. “Nothing is left of the Wimbledon I remember, apart from the history of what is a fantastic club, but I do have a lot of good memories. 

“What they achieved, against all the odds, is absolutely remarkable and I’m not sure it could ever happen again, if I’m being honest. Some people say Wigan also achieved it, but people don’t realise how small a club Wimbledon were. Mind you, they were small in size but massive in foundation.”

“It was a club which gave you a feeling of belonging,” he continued. “It was you, as a group, against everybody else. Wherever we went there was a unity that was unbelievable. 

“You knew your job and you did your job. If you didn’t do your job you certainly didn’t need to be criticised by anyone outside the changing room. You got told!

“We weren’t the best players but we had something that meant we could compete every single week. In my first season there we finished as the top London club in the division. We were above Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and teams like that. That really is unbelievable. It was a group of players who pushed the boundaries, but they performed.” 

“Sam Hammam epitomised what Wimbledon was about,” he said. “He also pushed the boundaries and he wanted the maximum from everyone. He knew the players were on lower wages than at other clubs, but the bonus system meant it was life and death when we played. You wanted to win because the financial reward was there. He built that unity from the top of the club to the bottom.”

“It’ll be nice to go back but I’m going there for a reason on Saturday,” he told us. “We need to compete when we go there because we saw them make a fantastic show of themselves when they got the exposure in the FA Cup. That has given them a lift and raised a few expectations, but they are now back to the nitty gritty of League Two football. 

“I think it will be business as usual with them. They can scrap and fight if they need to and I know they’ll come at us if we don’t do our part of the job to nullify them.”

“I’m also looking forward, after the game, to celebrating the 40th anniversary with the London Branch,” he said. “John Nixon, Colin West and I will answer any questions we get on the night, and if any concerns are expressed we’ll try to explain what’s going on behind the scenes. 

“I’m hoping to do that up in Carlisle as well. The one thing you will find from me is that I won’t hide away from any issues. I will answer any questions I’m asked. I’m sure people have difficult questions to ask and all we can do is answer them honestly.”
 
“We’re in a situation where the football club needs to pull together, make no mistake about that,” he continued. “One of the ways we’re going to get out of this is with togetherness. Yes, people will be disgruntled and unhappy, and I fully understand and accept that. People are allowed to voice their opinions and concerns. I’ve never had a problem with that. 

“We’re going in the right direction and things are being put in place which weren’t here when we first arrived. We’re changing things for the better and there’s a professional etiquette which needs to be adhered to at this football club. People are getting on board and fully understanding that now.”

“The lads have coped with everything which has been going on,” he commented. “We made them aware of it, but I do remind everyone that negativity courts company. I’ve told them not to get embroiled in it because we need to keep our focus.

“I read the papers every day and I listen to the radio every day, so I’m aware of what’s going on. Part of trying to deal with it was a conversation I had with Chris Lumsdon. I invited him down for a meeting on Wednesday, because he’s a person I know. I played with him and I know he has a fantastic passion for this football club. 

“It was good to be able to go over a few things and it’s excellent to have that level of communication with someone I know is a voice that Carlisle fans can relate to. It was good to get his thoughts and to give him slightly more of an insight into what I need, and into what I’m trying to create. 

“We’re a community club, but that’s not just when things are going well and people can get on board. When we’re in a scrap, we want people side by side. It’s not me being shoved in the back and being told to go out and answer questions. I’ll answer anything on football because everything I’m trying to do is for the right reasons. Sometimes that doesn’t get communicated well enough, so I want to speak as much as I can about what I know.”

United Player subscribers can see a series of video interviews with Keith Curle now. Click HERE to go to the Player platform. Follow the same link for more information on United Player, and to subscribe.

Click HERE 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.

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