Manager Keith Curle on the Johnstone's Paint Trophy game at Port Vale
Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat at Port Vale on Tuesday night.
“We came with a game plan, and that was to get a good foothold,” he said. “It was no surprise that it was 0-0 at half time with no real clear cut chances.
“We’re always very respectful of the opposition and I think we managed to stifle them for long periods. We knew we had some big guns of our own to come on, and ideally we would have liked to get to the last 15 minutes to bring our subs on to give us a bit of impetus.
“Unfortunately they came on when we were chasing the game, but I still think we created enough chances to win the game, or at least take it to penalties. The pleasing thing was we got back to how we wanted to play and we gave them a lot of problems.”
“Our decision making going into the final was loose at times, particularly during the first half,” he commented. “We managed to work the ball and get it out wide, but the last pass or delivery didn’t have the care and attention it needed.
“There was some good passing, and we cramped the midfield, but it was just that little bit of quality that was lacking in our decision making when we went forward from the middle third. We have to remember this is a League One club that has good players and a good balance to their team. We’ve managed to cause them problems despite that.
“I like winning games and we came here to do that. Everything we do is about the principles of how we want to play. If you can get a winning mentality you start to enjoy your football. It’s about getting good habits and winning is part and parcel of that.
“We will win football matches playing the way we played in this one and the other good thing to come out of it is that it was a good opportunity for more players to get more game time.”
On the late substitute appearance for in-form striker Jabo Ibehre, he said: “He showed us what he’s all about again. When you have a centre forward who is getting chances then he’s also going to get goals.
“You have to give them credit for some good defending and some good blocks. With his header, I think the cross just hit him and it’s one of those things. It’s probably headline news when he misses a chance at the moment because everything has been going for him. He’s going to score us lots of goals and he’s going to help others to get goal scoring opportunities as well.”
And on the relatively quiet ending to an initially busy transfer window, he said: “We were chasing two targets. We then found out that another target was available, so that went up to three.
“One of them decided he wanted to stay at the club he was at so he could fight for his place, even though he had been made available. Another player decided the journey up the M6 was too long.
“With the final one, his club agreed a fee with us, with regard to the contribution to his wage, and their team had a bounce game which he was removed from. Unfortunately nobody could get hold of him and that’s just one of those things. Some people sit by the phone on deadline day and others clearly don’t.
“We’re always looking to improve so if the right thing can be done in the loan market, we’ll do it. As I’ve said before, we won’t just make signings for the sake of it. It has to be right for everyone or it simply doesn’t work.”
“The feel good factor is starting to come back for the people of Carlisle,” he concluded. “They want to come and see us play and word is spreading that there is a difference about the players who wear the shirt this year.
“You’re getting value for money when you come to the games and we want everyone to stick with us and help us with what we’re trying to do.”
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