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MANAGER: There's something growing inside that dressing room

25 November 2015

Keith Curle on the fantastic away performance at Luton

Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the amazing away victory at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday night.

“We had a game plan which went out of the window in the first four minutes of the first half,” he admitted. “We went 1-0 down then climbed a mountain to get back to 1-1. We were the dominant team in the latter stages of the first half and we deserved to get that goal. 

“We quickly worked out that Michael Raynes was causing havoc every time he went into their box so we needed to put quality balls in there and gamble off him. We found a weakness in the heart of their defence. We asked for more of the same in the second half and we wanted to up the tempo and earn the right to play.”

“Well, that went out of the window within two minutes of the second half starting,” he commented. “We went 2-1 down because we just didn’t stick to our game plan of trying to put the ball into their final third. That was the way we should have been going because we thought they were jittery and nervous. 

“The approach we have is that we always want to play football, but we know have to earn the right to do that. There are areas of the pitch, particularly in the first few minutes of games, where you don't need to play football.

“There's something growing inside that changing room that has to become the foundation of our football club. People will think they can score goals against us, which will probably give them confidence, but they will also have it in the back of their minds that if we sense any kind of weakness we will capitalise.”

On the second half goals conceded, he said: “We were disappointed about the free header for the second goal, and when the third goal went in you start to think it isn’t going to be your day.
 
“We had a strong, brave wall but the ball fell straight back to their lad and his shot took a deflection and went in. When that sort of luck goes against you there’s a feeling of collective doom and you can start to think you should just pack your bags and go home. 

“The pleasing thing is that we didn’t allow that to seep in to our mentality at all. We still felt if we could get a goal then there was something there for us.”

“We then had a spell they will want to forget,” he said. “We scored three goals in 14 minutes and two of them were within a minute of each other. We played our hand by putting all of our attack-minded players onto the pitch. There was a feeling that approach would give them problems. 

“Some important people got some important goals for us today. I think that shows the strength in depth we've got, and also the strength of character within the squad. We've got game changers that can come on and do exactly that - change games. 

“As soon as the game finished the first thing I said to Jabo [Ibehre] was 'welcome back'. Not only because of the goal he scored, but the one that was disallowed and the overall physical presence he brought.

“Sometimes you've got to take credit where it's due and I'm the first one to come out and congratulate the players. No matter how good you are as a coach, players have to want to go out there and give you everything they've got. When you have the attitude of never giving up, that's how you build success.”

“I also have to give a lot of credit to the Luton management team,” he revealed. “The first thing John Still said to me after the match was 'well done, you deserved it'. 

“You can see the Luton supporters have a lot of knowledge as well. After we'd been over and celebrated with our fans they came across to the tunnel and applauded our players off. They saw a fantastic game of football which was a great advert for League Two.”

Speaking about the post-match celebrations with the 169-strong travelling support, he said: “Our fans are massively important to us. That's why we don't just give them a quick glance. We want to get involved and get up close and personal. 

“We appreciate the effort that goes into following us. We demand of ourselves - no matter what the result - a performance that our supporters can be proud of. We want them to go home and tell people we had a go, whatever the result is. We want them to know that the players wearing our shirts have had a real go for them.”

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