Keith Curle ahead of the Saturday visit of Dagenham & Redbridge
Manager Keith Curle spoke to us ahead of the weekend visit of Dagenham & Redbridge.
“We gave the players an opportunity to recover physically and mentally this week,” he said. “We've had a full-on couple of weeks so the players were given some time off in the knowledge that they had to come back ready to work.
“They had to hit the ground running because the team hasn't been picked for Saturday, so it was a good opportunity for everyone to get in the team. To their credit they were excellent and they came back at the tempo they'd left us at, so we've been able to train at a very high intensity. I've been very pleased with the attitude and attention to detail from the players.”
“Obviously I’m aware of the need to tighten up at the back but not at the expense of trying to play free flowing, attacking football,” he told us. “Everything we do is geared around gaining points because that's the column I look at.
“There are different ways to win games and there are different things we need to address as the season progresses, because we are still a work in progress. The opposition will look and think they can score goals against us but they'll know we score a lot of goals as well.
“We will win games 3 or 4-0 when teams come and try and play against us. We've got goals in this team and I'm confident we will win games with a three goal advantage at some point.”
“Dagenham are on a decent run and they'll be buoyed by the result last week,” he commented. “Not many people would have expected them to win at Northampton. They've got good individuals with good athleticism and on their day they can be a test.
“They do have weaknesses and we’ve worked on that. We've looked at where we can exploit them and we've got areas where we think we can put their defenders in situations they won’t want to be in. They aren't the biggest team so I don't think we'll face the same kind of aerial bombardment we saw last week. It will be more of a game of football which is played on the ground.”
On the injury situation, he said: “David Atkinson is back to field based training. He just needs a competitive game next week and we’ll give him that against Middlesbrough (away on Tuesday).
“Troy [Archibald-Henville] is doing individual field based training with Dolly and Lee [Fearn] and hopefully he'll be available for Tuesday. It would be a risk to involve both of them tomorrow because of the nature of their injuries.
“Charlie has still got a period of time to go in his boot. It’ll be another ten days to two weeks before he’ll be able to move on from that.”
And on the search for loan targets, he said: “We had identified two targets and they had both found out from their managers that they had been made available. Unfortunately for us they’ve both had interest from clubs in higher divisions.
“I’m not too disappointed by that because it shows this part of the recruitment process has been identifying targets of the right calibre earlier than other people have managed to do so.
“We now have a revised list which has another seven options. That demonstrates that when we aren’t in the training environment we’re working away at other things. If one door closes we move on and open up another avenue.
“One thing I keep saying to Lee Dykes is that if he brings suggestions to me they have to be better than what we have here already. We’re striving to improve and we don’t want people who are just on a par. The ethos we have is that we want to be better in everything we do.
“We’re at the stage now of gathering as much information as we possibly can about these players. We’re trying to create something at this club and we want people who will come in and contribute to that. We don’t want players who have their own agenda. We want people to join in and help us to move on.”
“The players here now are enjoying their football,” he said. “The football staff are enjoying coming into work because of the working environment we’ve created. It’s also nice to see the fans are enjoying their football club as well. They feel they’re getting value for money and the word spreads from that.
“Ultimately not getting beaten can be turned into winning games at home and that becomes a good habit. You want supporters to come to the ground knowing they’re going to be entertained.
“That’s what I dream about every Friday night. It would be lovely to go out and win the game by three or four goals with a clean sheet. That would be the icing on the cake.
“However, we’re developing a group of players who know how to win games and I don’t care what the result is as long as we create a winning mentality. How we do it comes secondary. Sometimes it means we’ll be open and exposed but we’re doing that to so we can expose the opposition at the other end as well.”
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