Keith Curle with reaction to the Penrith friendly
Manager Keith Curle spoke to us about where he feels the squad is at following the first week of pre-season friendly fixtures.
“We were pleased with the way we did things today,” he said. “There were certain passages of play, particularly in the first half, where things we’d been working on in training were put into practice.
“We saw the things we’d looked at in and out of possession, because what we’re trying to do is create a philosophy here that we will stick to. We’ve had a large influx of new players and we want to implement a different way of doing things.
“With some of the goals we’ve scored today you’d have to say the build up play was excellent. That tells us there is forward movement and there are goals in the team. There is good vision and there are still areas we haven’t worked on yet, so we have a good base to start from.”
“It is still pre-season but we’re very mindful of the fact we know what we want to do,” he added. “I’m also very thankful of having the opportunity to come to Penrith because they’ve looked after us fantastically well.
“The game was played in a good manner and with a good attitude, and it was very competitive from them. We’re very pleased as a club that we’ve been able to have this fixture.”
“My job now, over the next couple of weeks or so, is to trim the squad down so we can move towards a tighter knit unit,” he explained. “We’ll be covering all different aspects of what is required, in and out of possession, and ultimately that will get us a starting eleven for the first game of the season.
“I thought the three trial lads did really well within all that. No disrespect to the opposition this week, but I’d like to see us really tested and we’ll get that in three fantastic games against Bradford, Preston and Oldham. They are all good football clubs and they will ask completely different questions of us.
“Thompson, Osei and Walker will be around for the first of those three games and they will all get minutes. They have tried extremely hard to impress and they have integrated really well. I’ve said all along that we need to have a welcoming environment at this football club because, when you have that, it usually means it’s also a successful environment.
“They’ve performed well in training and with the pitch time we’ve given them. I think there’s more to come from Joe Thompson because I think he can come to life in one against one situations. He’s a good crosser of the ball and I’m sure we’ll see that from him as we go forward.
“There will be some players who get the full 90 minutes against Bradford, which we tried to do with Troy in this one. We’ve been looking after him with training and we felt this was the right time to get him back into it.
“We’ve picked up a bit of confidence and we’ve shown that we know where the goals are, so we can look forward to those games, having had more time on the training pitch to practice and work on one or two areas. There are patterns and passages of play we think we can exploit when we play other teams and we’ve seen our ball playing midfield players settle into a routine. The signs are all positive.”
“We’re always on the look out to add to the squad,” he said. “Again, I’m mindful of the fact we’ve lost twenty plus goals from the squad, with Brad Potts and Kyle Dempsey leaving. We need that type of energetic midfield player who is going to score goals, but we have tidy players now who can handle the football and there are players here now who can take that on for us.
“In terms of those lads leaving, I think both moves have been good business. I spoke to Kyle in the summer and part of the agreement for him to stay was to increase his pay scale by a considerable amount. We wanted him to stay and help keep us in the division, and he got his financial reward for doing that. However, the biggest reward he got was the amount of games he played. The next stage of his progression now is to go into a Championship team, and we wish him well.”
On the addition of a new member to his coaching staff, he said: “We’re still working on getting the right personnel together inside the football club. There are small contract issues we need to finalise with Lee Dykes and Simon Tracey, so we want to do that first and foremost before we move on with anything else.
“Lee did have the offer from a club at a higher level but I think he believes, as I do, that something is going to happen here. He wants to be part of that and he is already a big part of the way I like to do things, so I’m very happy that he has decided to stay.”