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MANAGER: A few aches, pains and knocks

5 March 2015

Keith Curle on injuries and a midfield loan player

Manager Keith Curle gave us an injury bulletin and an update on his search for a loan midfielder at his Thursday morning press conference.

“I don’t think my opinion has changed at all on how Tuesday night went,” he said. “It wasn’t pretty, but it was effective. We showed good character and bravery, and that was exactly what was needed.

“It was definitely the tough type of encounter we expected and we now don’t have too many people training today [Thursday], I can tell you that. There was a big effort from everyone so there are a few aches, pains, knocks and bruises, which means the training squad will be reduced heavily. 

“A few are concerns, but we hope they will settle down through the latter stages of today and tomorrow. As it stands, eight people will be in for treatment, but that goes back to the honesty thing I keep bringing up. 

“If a player isn’t able to give 100% in a training session, and it’s better for him to get looked at, then I would prefer that was the case. What we don’t want is for them to train anyway only to be found out or to potentially make it worse. 

“As part of being a professional I want them to be able to tell me they need a down day and we can then make sure they do something which is of benefit to them, and not detrimental to them being available for selection. I want to have the problem of having too many players available on a Saturday than not having enough.”

“Danny Grainger is back and available but Patrick Brough did very well,” he commented. “It was a performance he needed for himself. We spoke to him about one or two things he needed to add to his game and it was important to see him perform with no fear on Tuesday. We got that from him, and his distances and levels of aggression were better. He played against a very good winger and kept him quiet, which shows he’s learning. 

“If Danny is back he will get the captaincy, but first and foremost he has to get in the team ahead of Patrick. If Danny doesn’t get the nod I will have no hesitation in leaving it with Kyle. I read in the paper that a few eyebrows were raised when it was announced that he’d got the armband but, in my opinion, it was the right decision. He’s young, enthusiastic and prepared to meet any challenge face to face. He covered every blade of grass and led by example. 

“We had that from every player because we sent them out there with the message that there’s nothing to be scared of. We’ve got good players who, on our day, can play very well and cause teams problems. It’s a relegation dogfight but it’s nothing to be scared of. Go and make decisions, back yourself and get us out of it.”

On the loan player he was hoping to get into the club this week, he said: “We’re waiting for confirmation back from a club that a player can come across to us. We were hoping to have a midfield player training with us today, but that hasn’t materialised. His club want to have a look at him in terms of availability for their squad for the weekend. They want to make sure other players within their squad will be fine and then they’ll get back to us. 

“It could be that he will be able to join us tomorrow [Friday] but that will leave me slightly reluctant to put him straight into the starting line up, particularly in that position. If we do get it over the line he will probably take a place on the subs bench.”

And on the appeal lodged with the PFA by Billy Paynter and Gary Dicker, he said: “They’ve had their appeal, the board of directors have listened to it and the players have been given their decision in writing. They now have another 14 days to respond and, as far as I’m concerned, that’s it. We move on and there’s a line drawn in the sand. 

“Both players are progressing and they now need to be playing games. Ideally we’ll be able to arrange a few, to get them some game time. They will then be in the same position as every other player in the football club as they battle to get a place in the 18.”

“Danny Kearns and Brad Potts are doubtful again for the weekend,” he confirmed. “They won't be involved from what I've been told in my report sheet from Dolly. Mark Gillespie is progressing and they think they've got to the bottom of the issue that he's had in his groin. 

“They've done another type of scan which has brought up an issue that potentially might have been missed in the examinations before. I think that's been a sigh of relief for Mark and it's pleasing that they've got to the root of it.” 

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.

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