Keith Curle with reaction to the Morecambe draw
Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the home draw with Morecambe on Saturday.
“There were a lot of pleasing things from this performance,” he said. “We built the game up in the changing room through the course of the week because we wanted to make sure we got the tempo right.
“I thought we started the game excellently but the disappointing factor was we didn’t have the switch of play in the second half that we’d seen in the first. We couldn’t keep the momentum going and that meant we didn’t trouble their keeper enough.
“We had a few glimpses and half chances, and Billy Paynter nearly finished one off for us. Brad Potts fired one over the top from inside the area, but I thought we lacked a little bit of natural width in our play.”
“You can compare that to the first half where we did see good movement and good willingness to get wide,” he commented. “We had both full backs making advances and we had Potts and Dempsey utilising the area in front of them. On the whole we played well against a very good team, and if we’d got that second goal it could have been a comfortable victory.
“When you don’t get that cushion the luck can go against you. Having said that, you could say we got a little bit of luck when Redshaw had his shot and it came back off the bar. A number of weeks ago things like that were going in, and we would have come in from a good performance having lost 2-1. The hard work we’re doing is starting to change our luck.”
Having watched the Morecambe penalty incident on the match DVD, moments before walking into the post match press conference, he joked: “I didn’t see it! That stops me getting into trouble, doesn’t it?
“That’s the kind of luck that’s being going against us, but we’ll start to get it back. The referee got it right in the first half when he booked the lad for trying to gain an advantage. There was arguably more contact when Charlie Wyke went down, when he touched the ball round the keeper. I can’t see any reason why Charlie would throw himself to the ground in that situation.
“There was definite contact, but he didn’t give that one. It turned out to be third time lucky for them. There’s no point me getting drawn into talking about it because no matter what I say now it isn’t going to change the result.”
“There’s a lot of frustration in the dressing room because they didn’t get the win, but part of my job is to deal with that,” he told us. “There are other reasons and defining factors as to why we didn’t get three points. There are also lots of positives and we’re three games undefeated now, which is something we’re trying to build on.
“We want to be difficult to beat but we also want to cause problems. We managed that and we just need to work on getting a bit more width in our play when we’re recycling the ball. Possession wise we shaded it, but we just didn’t capitalise on it.”
On the goal from Brad Potts, he said: “I spoke to Colin West this morning and I told him I had a feeling that Pottsy was going to score. I thought he was due one because he’s a player who has an eye for goal. He’s been training exceptionally hard to try and get his fitness levels up and I think the only thing he needed to top that off was for him to get a goal.
“He’s a player who has had speculation going on around him for a very long time. I know his thoughts are that everything needs to be right for him before he commits himself to a football club, and rightly so.”
“We had to make a couple of changes today through injury,” he explained. “Sean O’Hanlon was rested because he has had a sore groin. That was brought on after the Northampton game, and what we don’t want to do is play someone with that kind of problem when we have a bank of games still to come. It was an educated gamble to give him the chance to get a bit of rest so we have a full complement of players as soon as possible.
“David Amoo had a reaction in his groin to the hard surface at Northampton. That was flagged up as also needing rest and that’s why we didn’t have that natural width for the full 90 minutes. I think his is slightly worse than Sean’s and it might be an opportunity for me to go and speak to John [Nixon] to see if we can get another wide player in, as long as the right player becomes available.
“We do have options there because Derek Asamoah can play the wide role. Patrick Brough can do it as a natural left footer, so we don’t need any knee jerk reactions. Danny Kearns has the ability to play wide, but that type of natural wide player is something we’ve been looking for. Pottsy and Dempsey can play anywhere across the midfield as well so we do have a number of things we can do.
“Credit to Danny Kearns when he came on. He’s been working tirelessly to get back to full fitness and he was able to get back into the fold today. This is a springboard for him to kick on.”
“We have a four point gap from the bottom two now and you can look at this game today and ask if it was two points wasted,” he told us. “No – it was a point gained.
“The expectation level is growing, and that’s from the short period of time from the draw and victory we had prior to this game. That’s how quickly these levels can rise at a football club. I don’t want to hide away from that because I have that expectation of our players as well. I’ve seen glimpses of what they can do and I want more of it. Now is the time for us to unify and stick together and keep getting these results.”
West Ham stopper Raphael Spiegel’s current loan spell came to an end following the game and Curle revealed that he was due to talk to the big keeper before any further decision is made.
“I’m going to have a quick chat to Raphael because I think he’s come here and done well,” he said. “He gave a decent account of himself when he played but, unfortunately for him, we were on the wrong end of a couple of results.
“That coincided with Dan Hanford coming back in to deliver the performances we know he’s capable of. We’ll talk to Raphael and we’ll take everything into consideration from there.
“As for bringing players in, we’ve been talking to a Championship club and they’ve told us their player is going to wait and see what options are available. That’s not meant to be disrespectful to us in any way because he wants to see if he can ply his trade at a slightly higher level, if he is going to go out on loan. We’re still in the hat but we have to wait and see where that one goes as well.”
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