Keith Curle on the Boxing Day away game at CreweManager Keith Curle spoke to us about tomorrow’s trip to face Crewe Alexandra in the first of the festive fixtures.
“It’s a place where everybody involved is facing a difficult time at the moment,” he said. “They’re in a situation as a football club where they need to pull together and return to normal business as soon as they possibly can.
“What hasn’t changed through all of this is the fact they have some very good players and a good approach to the game. They have Ryan Lowe, who I know very well. I had him when I was manager at Chester and he’s a proven goal scorer with a good understanding of the game.
“The rumour is that he has a hamstring injury, but they have players who can cover if that is the case. They’re a team who, if you let them pass and move, can take control of games. It’s no surprise to me that when you look at their results against teams who are more consistent they do very well.
“It’s when they come up against the uglier side of the game that they’ve fallen a little bit short. I think we’ll need to get the balance right by stopping them from playing and making it into the type of game they don’t enjoy. That’s when we can impose our style of play on them.”
“We go there knowing they want to play football,” he added. “We have to make sure we prevent that from happening, but we also want to make sure we can play our own game in the right areas and at the right time.
“As I say, if we let them have time and space they’ll play football at their leisure and at their pleasure. That’s why we’ll go there to turn it into a typical second division game. It might not turn out to be the prettiest game ever but we’ll be competitive and we’ll be there to try to win the three points.”
On the large numbers of United fans expected on the day, he said: “As a football club we travel very well. They know their football and they’ll be there to do their bit. It’s fantastic to know we’re going to get that wherever we go.
“We have to mention the home fans as well as part of all of that. We have 4,800 or 5,000 loyal supporters with us at the moment and we want that to grow. The support we get home and away is very much appreciated.
“The terraces are alive and the opinions they have are all about what’s going on out on the pitch. There are expectations now because they’re enjoying their football. We want as many people as possible to be on this journey and we know that if we keep producing the type of football they want to watch, more and more people will join us along the way.”