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MANAGER: The players are disappointed

20 September 2015

Keith Curle with reaction to the away draw at York

Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the away draw at Bootham Crescent on Saturday afternoon.

“I know it’s a bit of a cliché but we managed to snatch a draw out of the jaws of victory,” he said. “Everything was going in our favour and the worst thing that happened to us was when they had a man sent off.

“That kind of thing does have an affect, which can become positive or negative. It changed things tactically and it’s something we can learn from as a group. You still need to be able to penetrate with your passes if you’re against ten men. You’ve still got to pass and move and keep the momentum going forward. That’s what we didn’t do.”

“We are disappointed but a point away from home in a relatively local derby will ultimately be seen as a positive,” he added. “How we got the point is where the edge of disappointment comes for us because it could have been much better, particularly from the position we were in. 

“We made our substitutions and I make decisions for the betterment of the team and to try to get results. It’s always easier looking back, with the benefit of hindsight, to see if those decisions were right or wrong. Goals change games and substitutions can sometimes change things as well. Ours were done with us hoping to see a positive outcome.”

“Something else we weren’t happy with is that we didn’t really create a clear-cut opportunity after the sending off,” he commented. “We got a little bit anxious in our play and we didn’t move it around quickly enough. Things became a bit too direct and it’s all about that learning curve at the moment. Slowing things down as much as we did with 35 minutes still to play wasn’t the way to manage the game. If we’d kept the intensity levels it could have been the day to go on and get three or four goals.

“Having said that, we’re eight games in and just four points off the top of the table, so it’s not a bad place to be. The players are disappointed that it isn’t even better for us and they know they’ve missed an opportunity to win the game here. I didn’t need to go into the dressing room and remonstrate because they will learn from it and they’ll be better for it. We know we had enough experienced players who should have been able to see the game through in the correct way.

“What matters now is how they deal with it and how they respond. There’s no point in singling people out or creating a blame culture. We win together and we lose together. That unity is what we’re trying to foster and create with everyone, from the players to the supporters. We know the fans are as disappointed as we are and that’s why we always go over to show them our appreciation at the end of the game.”

“One of the pleasing things from the first half was that we looked solid,” he said. “They were knocking on the door but they had nowhere to go. They couldn’t break us down and it looked like a good performance.

“We took our foot off the gas when they had their man sent off when it was actually the opportunity to make the pitch really big and pull them about a bit. We didn’t do that and it cost us. As for the incident, I didn’t see it, so I can’t comment on whether it was a red card offence or not.”

On the debut for Newcastle loanee Alex Gilliead, he said: “I thought he was excellent. He did very well. He did everything that was asked and people have to understand that his workload over the last week has sapped his energy a bit. There’s a hole to play in for him where I think he will cause problems. He showed good understanding of that and he should improve even more once he gets to know the players around him properly.

“The decision to take him off was the right one at the time because we were able to bring on another player who thrives on finding space. We should have utilised that more than we did by getting the ball to him earlier, so that’s another lesson we can take away.”

On the absence of Derek Asamoah from the squad, he said: “He has been on fire recently. He’ll be starting on Wednesday and we saw this as an opportunity for him to get his tank full. He’s going to have to cover every blade of grass at Anfield and we want him ready for that.

“Other players missed out as well and what we have to do is look at the quality of the people who aren’t making the 18. That has got to be a plus for us because it shows we have a good squad.”

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