Keith Curle with his reaction to the Cambridge away draw
United manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the away draw at Cambridge on Saturday.
“The performance today shows we have something growing within the football department,” he said. “There’s a never-say-die attitude and a willingness to do whatever is necessary to get something out of games.
“We saw effort, commitment and application and you could probably say we had the two best chances on the day. Derek Asamoah somehow missed from a yard out and Jack Stacey went just wide when he was put clean through.
“The way we defended warranted and merited us coming away with at least a point. We knew we had to have unity and dig in to create a blanket in front of Mark [Gillespie] and I have to give a lot of credit to the players for making that happen.”
“I’m disappointed with the sendings off because that changes your mindset and the course of the game,” he commented. “We went from thinking about how we could cause them problems to nullifying the threat they had.
“The red cards made the job harder and I thought the second one was stupid. There was a challenge there to be had for the first one and the referee deemed it to be excessive force, or whatever he will write it up for, so we’ll review both of them and take action accordingly from there.”
“I spoke to the players at half time and I reminded them again about what they did at Cassius Camps in the summer,” he explained. “That showed them that they can give more at a time when they think they can’t go any further. The players faced and stood up to a challenge and they got a reward.
“This was a game where we needed to dig in and wear the shirt with pride and we got that from our players. The travelling support came down in their numbers and they got a very committed performance from their team. The options chosen weren’t the right ones at times but they gave everything, and that’s all our fans will ever ask for.”
On the battered and bruised, with Michael Raynes and Charlie Wyke both leaving the pitch for further treatment, he said: “We’ll have a roll call on Sunday and we’ll find out who is available.
“There’s a procedure in place whereby the players will do their cool down and they will report back to Dolly on where they are. Whatever the injury is you need it to settle for 24 hours before you can make a good assessment.
“I’m confident that we have players in the squad who can fill the gaps if needs be. Give us a slap in the face by getting us down to ten men and we will still be competitive. Throw injuries into the mix and that won’t change our approach either.
“As and when we need to be robust we have that quality in abundance. That’s part of the mentality I’m trying to bring here because I want to make sure we will fight for every single point available. To be successful at a football club you need that steely determination and belief. We’re getting closer to where we want to be and performances like this help to put those pillars and building blocks in place.
“I think there are signs of fibre and fabric which can take this football club on a really enjoyable journey. To come away from home and go the extra mile with just the ten men is very positive. Defensively we were excellent and Mark Gillespie was outstanding when he needed to be.”
And on the absence of defender Dave Atkinson from the travelling party, he said: “He has a stomach bug so we didn’t want him to travel with that. Dolly felt the right thing to do was to leave him behind.
“I agreed with that and hopefully it will mean he will be ready for Luton. That’s a big game but it’s another one we are all looking forward to.”
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