Keith Curle with reaction to the Plymouth game
Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the victory over Plymouth Argyle shortly after full time on Saturday afternoon.
“I’m very pleased with the performance because we showed both sides of what we’re about,” he said. “We played flowing, entertaining and attractive attacking football in the first half and we always looked a threat. We had a number of opportunities and on another day we could have put the game to bed.
“We needed a bit of steel and resilience in the second half and I thought the clean sheet and victory were fully deserved. We knew they’d change things after the break to try to get a foothold and that was obviously going to give us a different set of tests to deal with.
“I thought the back four stood up to that test against a very good team. Good teams build off clean sheets and I thought our lads at the back did their jobs as and when they needed to. I don’t think Mark [Gillespie] had too much to deal with and that was down to the unity we showed along the back line, along with the work Luke Joyce and Mike Jones did to protect them.
“That gave us a platform and Reggie Lambe was in the right place at the right time to win the game for us. His goal was an example of something we work on in training. We look at making sure we’re in the box in areas where the ball might land and we talk about the importance of getting your shot off if it does. Our players have goals in them from a number of different avenues.”
On the way Plymouth lined up, he said: “I think this game showed how much people are taking notice. Plymouth played pre-season with four at back, but they must have watched us on Tuesday night and decided they couldn’t afford to come here with that formation.
“They went with a back three and five in midfield to try to nullify us. They knew after 45 minutes they didn’t have a foothold in the game and they tried to change it. Another pleasing aspect was the way we adjusted and reacted to that.”
Speaking about goal scorer Reggie Lambe, he said: “I have a lot of respect for him and I don’t think he’s been anywhere near maximising his potential prior to coming here. I’ve seen something in him whereby he knows he needs to understand how we want to play, but he also wants to have the freedom to go out there and express himself.
“He’s an exciting player who sees things differently, and he spots things other players don’t see. He likes to take people on and get into areas where you can hurt the opposition. That’s why he got his goal today.”
“It’s been a good first week and it’s all about gaining momentum and confidence at this stage of the season,” he commented. “Winning games makes a football club an enjoyable place to be.
“The crowd played a huge part in getting this win and it was nice to see over 5,000 people here. They had a taste of what we can do on Tuesday night and it was followed up today. I like getting a reaction from the fans because it tells us we’re getting it right. This is now a club going in the right direction and there’s a bond coming from inside, and that spreads.
“When it comes down to it the more people facing the pitch and enjoying what they’re seeing the better the environment we have for us to play our football in. We want our fans to come and feel as if they’re going to see us create chances and score from them.
“I thought the players answered a lot of questions for themselves by doing just that. Team spirit comes from winning games and from creating a good football environment.”
And on his Friday evening meeting with Alexander McQueen, he said: “I met him with his father and I’ll be speaking to him again on Monday. We’ll talk to him about where we’re at then. Once we’ve had that conversation we’ll be able to go public on what we’re doing.”
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