Keith Curle with reaction to the York City away draw
Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the away draw at York on Saturday.
“We’re happy with the point but I’m disappointed we didn’t give them enough problems,” he said. “I’m pleased the players have shown belief they can keep a clean sheet away from home.
“York had more goalmouth scrambles and corners than we did but you have to understand the conditions weren’t conducive to getting the ball down and playing football. It was a day for people to stand their ground and not take a backward step. I thought we did that very well.
“We warned the players before kick off that it wasn’t a game for taking time on the ball or trying to settle. The pitch was bobbly, with misplaced divots, and I don’t really think it suits any team – not even York. It could cause them problems in the remaining games they’ve got. You can’t get any sort of rhythm to your game and people start to be hesitant because they don’t know what the ball is going to do.”
“We also said before the game that we went into it with a point, and the minimum we wanted to walk away from the stadium with was that point,” he explained. “They take a lot of credit for achieving that.
“We never set out to draw games. This is a point for both teams and I’ve said before there will be twists and turns along the way. It’s about holding your nerve at home and doing your job on the away trips. The radio and written press have got to hold their nerves as well and make sure we have a positive environment. It does have an affect if things are negative. We want our supporters to come to see us in a positive frame of mind.”
“We had a great chance for Charlie [Wyke] from a set piece we’ve been working on,” he commented. “Kyle Dempsey had a shot which went straight down the barrel for the keeper and, if one of those goes in, it changes the dynamics of the game.
“We didn’t show enough quality going forward, and we didn’t get people supporting the strikers enough, but that will come. We’ve shown that the backbone and resilience is still there in us, and that’s pleasing because we’re going to need it.
“They had chances and a few scrambles but credit to us for the way we blocked shots and defended as a unit. Dan Hanford took some great crosses to relieve the pressure and the only slight disappointment, as I say, is that we didn’t trouble their keeper enough.”
“The clearances off the line we saw show the type of commitment to the cause we need,” he said. “That desire to keep the ball out of the net is very difficult to replicate in training, but you could see from the body movements they wanted to get in line with the ball and stop it from going into our goal. It was one block after another at one point and that was really pleasing to see.
“I think we’ll need more of that on Tuesday night because Northampton will give us a very competitive game. They’ve beaten Tranmere today so they’ll be expecting to do the same with us. They’ll be looking for revenge for the victory we got over them at our place. We need to go there knowing we can cause them problems. They play a slick, attacking game, if you let them, so we’ll need to handle that and get at them.”
“I was pleased with Jason Kennedy and Paul Corry,” he told us. “They showed a good understanding of how to play the game and they made it very competitive in the midfield area. Jason has shown us what he is about and I think people will enjoy watching him play. There will be more to come from him and from Paul. He has a great left foot and he’s a very good footballer.
“It was an educated gamble bringing Brad Potts back in, but I’m pleased with how he came through. That’s down to the work Dolly and Lee Fearn have been doing with him, and it was good to get that 60 minutes under his belt. I promised Dolly I would take him off after an hour, no matter what, and he had played his part, so that was it.
“Antony Sweeney joined us for training but he has picked up a heavy dead leg. He won’t be ready for Tuesday but it’s one we will keep an eye on. We’ve got more players coming back to match fitness and it’s nice to have options.
“There will be changes on Tuesday to the travelling squad and we’ll pick the best team we think will do the job. I thought today would suit Billy Paynter’s experience rather than Derek Asamoah’s pace. We talked to him about that and the players we go with next week will be told why the decisions have been made.”
On the potential for more loan signings, he said: “I’m still looking for a wide player and for defensive cover. We’ll keep going with that. You find that different players come available on a daily basis so we’ll keep looking to add better than what we’ve already got to the group.
“We’re in communication with a couple of players I think could add qualities to this team and I will continue to do things in the right way in terms of how we bring them in.”
And on the performance of the Blue Army on the terraces, he said: “It’s a heartfelt thanks to our fans because they have stayed with us and backed us. We’re going to make mistakes but we will be trying to win games.
“I made sure the players showed their appreciation at the end of the game because the support was excellent. We didn’t give them enough to shout about but, again, that will come. I know there is massive potential for this club with what we get on the terraces.
“I also know we will benefit from what we’re going through now as a football club as a whole. It will set foundations for us going forward and a lot of the younger players we have will come of age. It’s a situation which isn’t nice, but sometimes you have to experience it so you can learn from it.”
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