Keith Curle ahead of the visit of Cheltenham Town
Manager Keith Curle spoke to us ahead of tonight’s home game against Cheltenham Town.
“There’s no doubt this is a big game,” he said. “We had supporters waiting for the ticket office to open on Monday morning in the car park, and that’s a good sign. That means our fans have realised we need them as well.
“It will be a nervous build up because people will tell us it’s a six pointer, a relegation dog fight, and all of the other things which come with a game like this. Rightly so, because this is a massive game.
“Everybody on our side of the fence has got to play their part. Staff, players, squad and none playing players, the energy has got be focused on a positive outcome. The fans are part of that as well. They have got to play their part, right from the first whistle.
“I know what our supporters are going through and I know the desire they have for us to do well. It’s my job to make sure the focus is right and the tactics are correct. The technical side of the delivery will come from the players.”
“It’s a game where we know what’s going to be needed and we have a good idea of how Cheltenham will play,” he told us. “They got a positive result on Saturday and they do have strengths and weaknesses in how they play. We’ve got to make sure we know what we’re about so that we can go out to nullify their threats.”
“Cheltenham have brought in fresh faces and that can help, especially at difficult times,” he agreed. “This isn’t a must-win game by any means because mathematically there are still a lot of points to play for.
“There will be twists and turns and four or five teams will be involved along the way. At the moment it’s about how we react as a unit to being in the bottom two. That includes the press. If they send a fearful message out there that this is it, then it’s scary. There’s a lot still to happen and if you’re a supporter of Carlisle United all I would say is come along and get involved in it.
“I think they’ll play deep and defend deep. They’ve got good experience and physicality in the midfield areas and they have a good understanding of how to read the game. They have good attacking threats in wide areas and they have a centre forward who will ruffle feathers.
“They’ll try and catch us on the break so we’ll need to be aware of that. I think they’ll come here to frustrate the life out of us. I don’t know much about Russell [Milton] but he’s a young manager who has been brought in to try and have an impact at the club. He’ll be here to build on the positive result they had and I’m sure he’ll make certain his team is up for it.”
“The message to the fans ahead of the game is that this is their team,” he said. “It’s their football club and they are coming to a game to see us do well. It’s always easier for the players to give them that if they are getting pats on the back and encouragement. They can be our twelfth man, and we’re going to need them.
“We’ll also need every little bit of luck, but we’re going to have to earn it. We’re getting to the nitty gritty stage of the season now where you have to be able to hold your nerve. Anybody who has any connection or attachment of any kind at all to this club has to have a positive mental attitude.
“My job then is to pick the best possible team to go out and win us the game. The players will be doing their damndest to get us that result, and they’ll be doing it without fear.”
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