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MANAGER: The players will be better for what they've been through

20 April 2016

Keith Curle with reaction to the Luton game

Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the Luton home game on Tuesday night.

“It’s a very disappointing night for us overall because we didn’t get the level of performance we wanted,” he said. “We didn’t get enough balls into the box, we didn’t have enough people getting onto the end of crosses and we were a little bit predictable and slow in our tempo. 

“We became tentative in our play and it seemed to lack hunger. There was good willingness at times but we weren’t ruthless enough and that meant we couldn’t get a better foothold in the game.”

“The fact is you have to score goals,” he continued. “I didn’t think we had the cutting edge to do that unfortunately, even though we played some nice football between the two 18-yard boxes. 

“I have to say I didn’t think we defended well enough inside our own box. Added to that, we didn’t have enough mastery in the final third so it was a disappointing night. The goals they scored could have been prevented but, as I say, I was very disappointed with what we served up in the final third. 

“The players are learning and some of their decision making was disappointing. We do have some young players and a lot of them will be a heck of a lot better for having had this experience.

“The players will be better for what they’ve been through going forward because they have a better understanding of what is required. I’m hungry for success and everyone knows that. I’m a very demanding coach and manager. I have standards I set and that’s accepted by everyone. If I give feedback it comes as a very honest opinion.”

“We had players missing which meant we had to make a few changes,” he explained. “Some of them were missing as a precaution, some through stupidity and some through someone else’s poor decision making.

“The squad was tested but I still think we were competitive enough. We just lacked what was needed in the final third and we were found wanting in our own goalmouth. 

“Dave Atkinson came off with a potential hamstring problem and we're getting to the end of a long season. Hopefully he will recover quickly. Tom Miller was unavailable and he might be touch and go for next week, we'll have to see how he responds to the treatment from Dolly in the next couple of days. Michael Raynes wasn't even close to being available.”

“Looking at the performance as a whole, you could say that some of the players want the season to end too quickly,” he told us. “We know it’s been a long season but there are still points to play for. We have three games to go and I want to see our players giving everything.

“You can never say never, and a good example of that was Alexander McQueen. He gave a very good performance and that was something he needed. He came into the club this season as a project and he started off very well. 

“Unfortunately circumstances affected his performances, and ultimately they affected his training performances as well. You can find that with young players because they don't know how to handle disappointment when they aren't in the team. They can feel sorry for themselves but he’s come through that and given us something which we knew was there. I thought he took his opportunity very well.”

Speaking about the chase for the final play-off spot, he said: “You could probably say that we need snookers. We’re behind the yellow, one red left, we have to go the full length of the table and a lot of things have got to happen in between for us to get it.

“We won’t give up trying and we have got to finish as high up the table as we possibly can. We can then use that as a stepping stone but I still say that we’ve taken some massive strides from where we were last season.

“The foundations we now have in place will bear fruit. There have been some good additions to the football club but, on the other hand, we have moved on from some of the players we have here. That is progression but it doesn’t change the fact we want to end the season on a high.”

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