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MANAGER: I tell them to make sure they entertain

12 August 2016

Keith Curle ahead of the visit of Plymouth Argyle

Manager Keith Curle spoke to us ahead of the visit of Plymouth Argyle at the weekend.

“I think Plymouth will give us a real test,” he said. “They are a club which has good foundations in place and they’ve had a couple of seasons where they’ve done well. They’ll be disappointed with how last season ended because they were around the automatic promotion places for much of it. 

“The manager has had a reshuffle and he’s lost a few players, and brought others in. Similar to myself, he’ll be in a position where he’s still putting the pieces of the jigsaw together. They’re not the finished article but they are a very good side.”

“This will be a game where you will see two teams who want to be on the front foot,” he told us. “Both sides want to play attacking football and they’ve been very competitive in the games I’ve seen them play so far. 

“I saw the game against Luton and no way was it a 3-0 game. If anything Plymouth should have been two goals up and, if they’d taken their early chances, it would have been a completely different story. They’re a good team and I’m sure they’ll make it difficult for us.

“They’re very aggressive from set pieces and they also have players who can play. They’re happy and comfortable on the ball and they have good experience in good areas. The spine of the team is strong but I think we can cause them problems, particularly in wide areas. 

“We’ll probably see that it will be a tight and scrappy affair in the middle of the field with nobody willing to take a backward step. It should be an exciting encounter.”

As for his own squad, he said: “We’re looking very good. We’re down to one player who won’t be available so we almost have a clean bill of health. We’re happy with where the squad is physically and that’s why we won’t rush people back.

“I think the fans are also happy with what they’re seeing from our players. A lot of people went away talking about the level of performance and telling us it was the type of football they wanted to see after Tuesday night. 

“These players are a very committed group and one of the things I always say to them before they go out is to make sure they entertain. That isn’t said as a throwaway comment because it’s how I want us to play. 

“Looking at tomorrow, we want to be able to replicate what we did on Tuesday night. It was nice to get the first home win and we’re trying to gain and gather momentum. If you can get that then it can have a really good bearing on the rest of your season.

“We have to remember that Tuesday was the first time some of the players had even been to the ground properly because there’s been remedial work ongoing to prepare the club for match days. 

“As I said the other night, we hadn’t been able to train on the pitch either so the more we get to go on it the more we will hope to see performances like that. That has to be our aim and we are going out there to be very competitive in everything we do.” 

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