Keith Curle on team selection and an injury update
Manager Keith Curle spoke more about team selection following the impressive FA Cup victory at Plymouth on Saturday.
“The good thing I have at the moment is a squad of players who are all desperate to play,” he said. “I want to be in a position where I have headaches, not just for the starting eleven, and at the moment it’s a struggle to get it down to 18 for a Saturday.
“I’ve said it before, but that’s because of the way we’ve recruited and the strength we’ve managed to build into the squad. They all know that just because someone plays well in a game it doesn't mean there’s a natural selection process that means they’ll play in the next one.
“We look at everything from the way they train during the week to the opposition we’re going to play. If I feel any of these lads aren’t ready for any reason we have others who can step in.
“If we see other things in what someone else can bring to the mix we're brave enough to make that decision. The players have taken that on board and there’s an understanding that playing well is not the only thing that's required. They have to play well, train well and ultimately perform.”
“Dan Hanford is an example of that,” he continued. “He’s been the only person who hasn’t been part of the regular rotation. Both of the keepers have been training exceptionally well and our keeper coach Simon Tracey has been singing their praises.
“I wanted to have a look at him in a game like this and he did what was required. That causes me another selection problem for next week.
“Angelo Balanta came with us and he was available for selection. He’s raring to go and he knows his chance will come. Jabo Ibehre is our other one and he’s also chomping at the bit. He came to see me last week because he read something that was possibly misunderstood. He’d read that it’s when he isn’t at 100% that he starts to fall out with managers.
“He came to see me, and rightly so, because he felt it made him sound like a trouble maker. That could not be further from the truth. What I meant by it was that I’m the one who gets frustrated and I’m the one who will fall out with him, because everyone at Carlisle knows that a fit Jabo Ibehre causes other teams real problems. That’s what I meant by my comments because when he comes back to the first team I want him fit and firing. I want him out there and getting us another ten goals from his next ten games.”
On the bruised and battered, he said: “Danny Grainger picked up a shoulder injury, which we’ll look at over the next few days, and Antony Sweeney had a knock on his ankle. We’ll see how they both look early in the week.
“Macaulay Gillesphey was missing because he picked up a slight strain injury in training on Thursday. He was striking the ball when it happened and he felt something wasn’t right. With the quality we have in the squad it meant we didn’t need to risk making it any worse for him.”
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