Keith Curle with reaction to the Northampton away game
Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the Tuesday evening away game at Northampton.
“We created more than enough chances in the first half to have given ourselves a cushion,” he said. “We should have gone into half time at least one up. Their equaliser was disappointing.
“We told the referee’s assistant to make sure they were in a position to watch if Northampton would try to block the goalkeeper. We’d watched a few of their set pieces and we knew that was something they did try to do.
“My complaint is that I asked the referee if he was in a position to see it. He said that he had seen it, but in his opinion it wasn’t a foul. That’s really disappointing because if that wasn’t a foul then I don’t know what is.”
“Obviously conceding two goals from set pieces is never going to be nice to take,” he told us. “They do put very good quality balls into the box and they hit areas with good movement. If infringements aren’t seen when they happen then they’re only going to benefit from it.
“Their second goal came at a bad time and it was a deflected shot Mark [Gillespie] could do nothing about. What we’ll do is analyse all of it and make sure we take the positives from the performance as well. We took the game to them and we created a lot of good openings.
“We were running them ragged during the first half and we had five or six great opportunities. If we’d taken more than one of them the game could easily have been out of sight. We could have had three or four by half time and I don’t think many would have complained if that had been the case.”
“Unfortunately there was then that decision which didn’t go our way, and they followed that with a lucky deflection,” he commented. “The third goal is probably the most disappointing one for us with the way we allowed it to happen.
“If you’ve done the homework and you know what’s going to happen then the next thing to do is stop it at source. Make sure your man isn’t allowed to get in and around your keeper or block him from coming out. It’s all part of the learning curve and there are a lot of disappointed players because they know the game was there for them to win.”
“I will say we showed good character,” he said. “We kept going and we kept looking to get a positive result out of the game. We came with a game plan to get good possession and to find Derek [Asamoah] with quality balls in and around their centre backs. We all saw the game plan worked a treat, but the final piece of the jigsaw was putting the ball in the back of the net.
“We don’t criticise players for missing chances. The pleasing thing is that we’re making chances as a team. If we keep doing that we’ll get more positive results than negative. However, if I’m being honest we do need more quality in the opposition half.
“This was a game where we missed Jabo Ibehre. Things worked well game plan wise with Derek, but it would have been fantastic to change it a bit by adding Jabo to the mix. Having said that, Charlie Wyke came back and he had one chance and he scored. You can’t ask for much more than that.
“With Michael Raynes, he spoke to us and he’s a very honest player. He wasn’t quite ready but that means it’s an opportunity for others to step up. We have Tom Miller who will miss Saturday with his fifth booking and the obvious player to step in there is Alex McQueen. Maybe the question we ask him is if he can come in and play well enough to keep Tom out from now on. That’s the kind of challenge all of these players need to set themselves.”
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