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MANAGER: Nothing has changed from the day I walked in

12 January 2015

Keith Curle on the backing of the board and pulling together

Manager Keith Curle spoke to us on the need to pull together as he continues the task of reshaping his squad.

“After the result on Saturday you have to pick yourself up and go again,” he said. “There are plenty of positives to take from the game. One of them comes from the negative of them scoring the only goal of the game. They only had one shot which took a deflection and went into the corner.  

“They're a comfortable mid-table team and we nullified their strengths. The disappointing thing is that we didn't get the run of the ball to get the goal. We didn't have enough in open play but we were compact and took a lot of breaking down.

“It's not easy when you walk into a changing room that has just suffered a defeat, but they were beaten in the right way. They didn't roll over or shy away from the challenge. We're starting to see that grit and determination. We know where we're at and what we need, but it won’t come overnight. 

“There was a soft centre to the football club when I first came in but that’s starting to change. There was a level of professionalism missing but that is also starting to come. When you get change at a football club there is always a little bit of hostility and resistance until people start seeing the benefits. We need a little bit of help, we need a little bit of quality and character in the changing room, and then we will see the results.”

On the high level of unrest and disillusionment currently felt by the fans, he said: “I’m aware of the frustration from the supporters because I can hear it going on throughout the game. I know it's because they're desperate for us to do well and that’s the pleasing thing. 

“It isn't from a lack of support, it's because they are so desperate for us to do well. I've got to ask them to bit a bit more patient. They kept the hostility for the end of the game and I know during the game they were backing us 100%.

“The hostility isn't a distraction to us but it is disappointing. To have a successful football club we all need to pull together. Everybody who comes under the umbrella of Carlisle United has to stick together. 

“I will make sure everybody keeps focused, so it doesn't become a distraction, but we can't have in-fighting. I've got a fantastic relationship with the owners and no promises have been broken since I came into the club. I knew what was needed and I've been helped in every way possible.”

“Protests and petitions are a concern because they show there isn't unity within the club,” he commented. “We all need to unite, but I know people can get frustrated if the lines of communication aren't what they should be. 

“What I enjoyed when I first came to the club was staying in a hotel and interacting with fans in the city. I'm going to start doing that again. I want to meet people and speak to people. If you're frustrated about football, please come and speak to me. I'm always honest and if I've got an answer I'll give it to you. 

“We're also looking at organising a question and answer session which is open to everybody. There are a lot of people in the Paddock who spend their Saturday afternoon shouting at the back of my head - I want to give them the opportunity to speak to me face to face. Good lines of communication are important and me talking and engaging with supporters will stop a lot of frustration.” 

“I definitely think we can pull everyone back together,” he insisted. “My part in that is making myself approachable. I see myself as being respectful and, as long as people are the same with me, they will get the same reaction. I will answer any question I’m asked so if you see me round town, and you want to know something, come and ask me. I’ll be honest and concise with my reply. I’m prepared to listen to everyone’s thoughts and concerns and I’m willing to share my opinion.”

“What I can say is I have the 100% backing of the board,” he said. “Nothing has changed from the day I walked in here. They haven’t restricted me on any transfer targets or on any of the transfer movements I want to approach. 

“It’s clear and concise on what I can and can’t spend. I know any money that comes in, and which can be directed at me, is coming my way. At the moment I have money available I can’t spend because I can’t get players to take on board the contracts I’m offering. 

“That’s not because we’re being out-priced. That’s because the targets we’ve gone for have chosen to go to clubs in a higher division. I’m not going for unrealistic targets, or anything like that, it’s just been a case of other people taking a gamble on them at the last moment. Fair play to them because they’re paying off. 

“I might try to see if my office is being bugged because it seems every player I go for, who has previously had no interest, suddenly picks up a bit and he goes and signs for someone else.”

“I know how desperate people are to see us grinding out results, but I know it’s coming,” he told us. “We keep getting slapped in the face but it’s about how many times we get back up. There’s resilience growing in the changing room because the fragility I’ve talked about is getting less and less. If I can add the characters I want to add we’ll be a lot closer to where I need to be.

“The work ethic and professional levels within the club are changing. People are getting on board with that and they’re starting to develop the tools to go out and compete. That can only be good for us all.”

On players moving out of the club, he said: “We've organised a game behind closed doors against Burnley tomorrow. A number of players who are available for loan will play in that. 

“We've invited scouts and football representatives to come and watch. We’ll also be playing a number of trialists which will give us the chance to look at them in an 11v11 game.

“I can confirm that I spoke to Micky Adams three weeks ago and he asked me the situation with Billy Paynter. He wanted a fitness report and he’s aware of where Billy lives, and his location in relation to Tranmere. There hasn’t been a follow up on that because it was just a case of him finding out whether or not he would be available.”

And on the potential departure of midfielder Alex Marrow, he said: “Discussions are ongoing with Alex. He is making demands and we’re making offers. He hasn’t changed his opinion of not being happy and not wanting to be here.”

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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