Keith Curle on preparations for the Portsmouth game
Manager Keith Curle spoke to us about what is going to be an intense week for his players as they prepare for the Good Friday visit of Portsmouth.
“Looking back at the weekend we’re really disappointed because we didn’t turn up,” he said. “I think expectations grew because of the previous results, but we ended up with a shadow of what turned up at Northampton and York, and there were points available.
“We got exactly what we deserved on the day. We could have been two goals down within the first ten minutes, so when we went ahead we started to think it could be our day. Unfortunately it didn’t pan out that way.”
“In terms of preparation, we had a level of intensity and delivery we were happy with,” he told us. “We could see things were sinking in and there was a level of expectation from us, as coaching staff, as to what was going to come on Saturday. If we’d produced what we’d seen in those previous games then potentially that would have got us a result.
“Sometimes, when players get results, their decision making process changes and they go from needing a performance and result to wanting a performance and result. As you know, when you need something, you get it. We had to rediscover that feeling of needing to produce.”
“The press conference we’re having today is a quick one because I want to spend the time with the lads,” he told us. “It’s not a tongue lashing, but we want to ramp up the tempo of training right from the off.
“We’ve got seven cup finals left and the intensity of our training will be short, sharp and with a real focus for every single one of them. Last weekend wasn’t acceptable so we need to be at it from the first whistle on Friday.
“Everybody should come here expecting a performance. That’s not just the fans. That’s the players, the staff and everybody associated with this club. There’s got to be a performance, it’s as simple as that.”
“We will look closely at everything we did last week to find out why the spark wasn’t there,” he commented. “Was it something I did differently on Friday, was it something we did in the preparation phase, or was it something we did at the ground. Everything, from how we trained, to the pre-match team talk, is being scrutinised by myself.
“We’ve been in since quarter past eight this morning and we’ve gone through, in detail, everything we’ve done. We’re doing comparisons of what we did for the previous weeks when we got the good results. That will help us to iron out one or two things we think could get us a result this Friday.”
“The pleasing thing at the moment is that we have 28 or 29 professionals who all want to play,” he said. “It won’t be an issue for us to keep things fresh, even though we do have these games coming over a short period of time.
"Playing Friday and Monday isn’t an issue and I won’t be looking for any excuses, because I know I’ve got enough in that changing room to win both games. There’s a points tally needed to keep us up and we’ll get what’s required.”
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