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MANAGER: The festive period is all about football

21 December 2016

Keith Curle on festive football and a Gillesphey update

Carlisle United head into a run of three fixtures in eight days, starting with the Boxing Day trip to Crewe, but manager Keith Curle insists that his squad will be more than ready to meet the challenge head on for what is always an important period in the football calendar.

“We’re going into a spell now where we have games coming thick and fast,” he said. “We’ll have to make sure physically and mentally we’re tuned in to what is needed, both individually and collectively.

“I won’t change my philosophy. I’m going to take every game as it comes. I won’t think about picking a team for Notts County or Grimsby until we’ve got through the Crewe game. There’s always a potential for injuries, loss of form or suspensions, and it all has to be taken into account.”

“I’ve been brought up in this business and the festive period is all about football,” he commented. “As a player I always felt I’d rather play games than train. I love the buzz of game day.

“Obviously we would all have enjoyed a Blackpool or Hartlepool type fixture, but there’s nothing we can do about that. We just have to get on with it and go out there to compete in every one of them.

“Nine points across the next three games would be ideal for everybody, no matter where you are in the league. There’s a necessity as professionals to make sure we prepare in a proper manner, both physically and mentally, and I’m confident that the players will look after themselves.

“Ideally we’ll win all three games but, taking football aside, happiness is massive. If we can bring that to everyone we touch as a football club it will mean we’re doing our jobs very well.”

Meanwhile the manager also confirmed that part of his ongoing work was to continue discussions about the immediate future for Newcastle United defender Macaulay Gillesphey.

“I spoke to Macaulay’s agent and we’ve spoken to Newcastle, and I think the process is now that they’re speaking to him to see if he’s happy,” he said. “They’ll want to know if he sees himself continuing his development here. The pleasing thing is there are a lot of boxes being ticked in terms of him getting regular game time.”

“The other aspect is that he’s a home bird and he enjoys his mum’s cooking ... and her doing his washing and ironing,” he joked. “He’s a nice lad who is learning and I think he will go on to have a very good career.
 
“Macaulay has shown his versatility and he knows he’s still learning his trade. There is a lot more to come from him and he’s a player we enjoy working with.”

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