Keith Curle with Newport match reaction
Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the first away game of the New Year at Newport.
“We came here with a game plan and we stuck to it,” he said. “We got the early reward for what we were doing with our goal. We’d spoken about needing to catch them on the break, or with a set play, and we caused them problems with those situations.
“The quality of the balls into the box was good and the way we went in front worked a treat. We just needed a bit of better game management to see it out and, if we’d taken one of the half chances we had when we were ahead, things could have been different. Unfortunately we weren’t able to see it out and it cost us in the end.”
“I’m well aware it’s a defeat and that affects the way you approach your team talk after the game,” he added. “I’ve let the players know there’s a softness about the changing room I don’t like. I wouldn’t say there’s an acceptance, but are we doing enough physically, technically, mentally and tactically? No, we’re not.
“It needs freshened up and we need some men in there, because I keep looking around and seeing sad faces. I don’t like it and it will change.”
“The players needed a performance today,” he agreed. “The attitude, application and desire were there in abundance. There were good energy levels and willingness, and we added solidity to our defence as a unit.
“The penalty came just at the right time for them because they couldn’t break us down and we looked the more likely to get another goal. We felt the only way they would get joy was in wide areas so we went out to combat that and nullify the threat. I’d need to see the incident again before I comment on whether it should have been given or not. All I can do at the moment is go with it because that’s how it panned out.”
“They got a little bit of luck when Dan Hanford made his save and it went straight to their lad to bury in the top corner,” he said. “It’s another I need to see before we question where our protective midfielders were or ask why their player got their first. Sometimes it’s just the type of luck you need to go your way every now and then.”
And on the disciplinary situation at the club this week, he said: “It hasn’t been an easy or enjoyable week at all. However, it’s something I’ve got to deal with.
“I can tell you it has been dealt with and the maximum punishments have been handed out. The players know they haven’t adhered to the strict guidelines at the football club and they have accepted their punishment.
“They have formally apologised and they’ve made it clear how apologetic they are to me, the playing and coaching staff, the staff at the club and everyone who comes under the umbrella of Carlisle United. Every one of them said they wanted me to apologise on their behalf to the fans because they know they’ve let them down.
“They are all well aware their conduct was unbefitting of professional footballers at Carlisle United and it won’t happen again. Like I say, it’s been dealt with and we now need to move on very quickly as a football club.
“The players aren’t hiding behind me by doing that. This is a situation where I need to be the voice of the changing room. Anything that needs to be said is done through me otherwise things can get misinterpreted. I don’t want that to happen.
“I don’t want players put in situations where, if they say one thing, they then get tempted to say something else. The next thing you know, if they do that, is that more headlines come out. The players have apologised to me and I’ve accepted it. That hasn’t been done lightly and it hasn’t by any means been brushed under the carpet.
“I’m aware of the enormity of the lack of professionalism that’s been shown to the fans and there is no doubt it’s unacceptable behaviour. They are paying the price through the maximum permissible penalties we have imposed. The biggest secret in football is you can’t keep a secret in football. It has been dealt with and now we have to move on.”
And on the addition of new players during the transfer window, he said: “We have a number of contract issues at the club [Asamoah, Brown and Anderson] at the moment and they will all be addressed on Monday morning.
“We’re in the process of talking to two or three people, with a view to them coming in, and we’re hoping to move things on as soon as we can. What I won’t do is panic and spend money I don’t think is necessary, or justified, just for the sake of it.”