Keith Curle with reaction to the 1-1 draw with Cheltenham Town
Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the draw with Cheltenham on Tuesday night.
“I’m frustrated at the result but I’m pleased with how we played,” he said. “Getting the goal at the end was exactly what we needed. I have to say the performance level the lads gave us was excellent.
“I think the crowd enjoyed it and it was a fantastic turnout from them. To have well over 4,000 on a Tuesday night, when it’s the third of three home games in a row, is excellent. They’re buying in to what we want to do and the accolade the crowd gives to the players is just reward for the efforts the lads are putting in.
“The fans played their part and they stayed with the players because I think they can see we’re trying to do the right things.”
“We caused Cheltenham a lot of problems,” he continued. “They didn’t know whether to stick or twist at times, so there are positives to take from it. We came up against a keeper who was in form and we hit the bar a number of times.
“I know stats can say anything you want them to but we had a lot of dominance and created a lot of chances. On another day it could have been an avalanche, and we have the ability in this squad to put a few past teams in this division.
“We didn’t quite get the clear opportunity we were striving for in this game. I thought we needed to get the ball wider in the second half and move the ball quicker, and it was a classic second division counter attack which caught us. Sometimes the players want to get forward and they get caught by a sucker punch.
“Players want to win games. They want to entertain and get shots off. They want to be in the final third and I’m not going to stop them from wanting to do that. We can look at decision making when we’re in there - of course we can - because we had good ammunition and we had the ball in decent areas.
“However, we can’t afford to throw caution to the wind and push everyone up but we’ve kept going and we are still undefeated with three league games played.”
“Football can be like this,” he commented. “We caused them all kinds of problems in the first half but credit goes to them for the substitution. Their game plan was to feed off any scraps they could get and it was a decent counter-attacking goal.
“That happens at this level and that’s why you have to have one eye on the back door while you keep banging on the front door. Fair play to Cheltenham because it was a good finish, a good run and good anticipation.”
“The character we have in the team is what got us a point out of the game,” he told us. “There’s desire, passion and willingness to work hard. There’s also a belief that we will get something out of every single game. A few things didn’t go our way but we created some good opportunities.
“Some people will say they started to think it wasn’t going to be our night but I always believe we’ll get something. There’s a winning mentality and a draw at home is a point earned on the day, but we know we go for wins.
“We were in a position last season where we gained 23 or 24 points from losing positions. That shows character and determination, and that we have a group which won’t lie down. The pleasing thing is that with all the new faces and acquisitions it’s still there.”
And on the ongoing situation with Alexander McQueen, he said: “I had a conversation with Alex and his parents on Friday and I told them I’d be speaking to the club about the situation after that chat.
“He knew I would then be informing him on Monday about what we wanted to do. We spoke again and I told him that I’m not going to pursue his signature. In my mind the offer we made was a valid offer with good incentives for where I felt he was.
“I obviously thanked Alex for his commitment last season and for buying into what we are trying to do. My decision is that the offer we made has now elapsed and I am going to look elsewhere to strengthen the squad.
“It’s easy for me to say it’s been handled in the wrong way, and I think Alex and his parents are aware it could all have been dealt with differently. I don’t think it’s a situation which has been of benefit to either party so we now need to move on and find other players who can add to what we already have.
“He will be officially notified in writing and what we don’t want is to hamper his progression in any way, shape or form. I gave him the opportunity to stay with us from the Monday after last season had ended and he was well within his rights to turn it down, or to look at better offers out there. I am well within my rights now to say I think I need to look elsewhere.”
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