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MANAGER: Two sides who will want to get forward

19 August 2016

Keith Curle ahead of the trip to face Cambridge United

Manager Keith Curle spoke to us ahead of the weekend trip to face Cambridge in the second League Two away game of the season.

“Shaun Derry has recruited well so we know they’ll be a strong side,” he said. “It’s always tough down there, as we found last season. We were down to ten men in that game but we were able to withstand everything they threw at us. 

“He’s a very competitive manager and I know him well. His teams will reflect that and we have to be aware of how they will set up. 

“They’ll be mindful of the fact we’re a difficult team to beat. They'll have looked at the way we’ve recruited some good attack-minded players who will be able to cause them problems.”

“We’ve got a full squad to choose from, which is pleasing,” he said. “I know in my mind which team I’m going to start with, and also the squad which will travel. I have a game plan and we think we know what Cambridge have to offer.

“I think it will be a good game between two sides who will look to get on the front foot as much as possible. Competition is building within our squad and they know they all have to perform whenever they’re given the nod. 

“Cambridge will want their first home win and I want our first away league win. I’m desperate for that and I know we’re more than capable of going there and getting a result.”

On injured defender Shaun Brisley, he said: “Lee Fearn is working with him now to claw back as much of the physical work he’s missed as possible. 

“It’s not just about being pain free with the ankle injury; it’s about being able to stand up to the rigours of League Two football. He’s missed a large chunk so far but he’s working very well on making sure his all-round body fitness is where it needs to be.

“He’ll be back with us as soon as Neil Dalton and Lee Fearn say he’s ready. He’ll rejoin the pitch time training sessions with ourselves first and, if he comes through that, he’ll be available for selection.”

And the manager confirmed that his search to add to the squad has included conversations with Newcastle United about former-loanee Alex Gilliead.

“I don’t think Alex has signed for anyone else at this stage,” he said. “I’ve spoken to his agent [Imre Varadi] because I know he’s a young man who has ability. 

“He played very well in a number of games for us and that has attracted attention from other teams - some from higher divisions. If he finds one which suits him then you’ve got to be respectful of that.

“What it can mean for us is that we possibly need to look at whether or not we need to sign somebody else. That means a player who has had a taste of competitive football can run the risk of playing U21 football for the next three or four months. 

“That can have a detrimental effect because the mentality of a player going into training and knowing he isn’t playing league football at the end of the week is completely different to one who knows he is. 

“I think everyone knows Alex is a player I’d like to bring in.”

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