Keith Curle on team bonding and clean slates
Manager Keith Curle spoke about finalising his starting eleven as the squad heads into its final ten days of pre-season training.
“I won’t pick my team for the Mansfield game until the Thursday before,” he said. “A lot can happen between now and then. We have the Oldham game on Saturday and another behind closed doors game organised against Queen of the South for next Tuesday.
“That’s another opportunity for players to get minutes on the pitch and for us to iron out some of the simple errors we’ve been making. Overall we are very happy with where we are.”
“A big part of where we are now has been the way the squad has come together,” he added. “We’ve got two dressing rooms at the training ground and we’re changing the personnel around within them on a weekly basis.
“We’re doing that deliberately because we want the players who have been here a while to help the new players to learn what our club is about, so they can bring their personality into it.
“The good thing for me is that the players who were already with the club have made it a very welcoming environment. Successful teams I’ve been involved with have that in abundance.”
“I’m still on the lookout for more players,” he commented. “I won’t say what positions that’s for, but we will have another trialist in next week.
“I’m mindful that the squad is top heavy at the moment and we’ll realise very soon that some players won’t get the pitch time their career deserves and merits. We’ll be actively looking to trim the squad down but we aren’t going to force anyone out of the door.
“There were certain situations last season but everyone has come back in with a clean slate and with an opportunity to impress and perform. The atmosphere around the place is excellent and I’m happy with the quality we have, but the quantity might be a little bit too heavy for them.”
“What I do have are really good options,” he said. “With the combinations we have up front, for example, there is pace, power, strength, guile and everything else you would want in a forward line. All we need then is to get the ball to them with quality, and we’ll be causing problems.”