Keith Curle ahead of the Newport County game
Manager Keith Curle spoke to us about what he expects will be another tough game ahead of the weekend trip to face Newport County.
“I went to watch Newport at Morecambe a couple of weeks ago with Simon Tracey,” he said. “They got a good lift in that game when they scored after a minute or so, from a set piece. They have two good centre forwards, a lively midfield and threats from wide areas. There’s experience at the back and they work well together as a unit.
“I think they’re in a false position with where they are in the table and I’m sure they’ll comfortably stay up. It’ll be a good test for us.”
“We went there last season when they were flying and we should have been two up and comfortable with the way the game was going,” he continued. “We didn’t get the result we deserved on the day and I expect this to be another good encounter.
“Without being disrespectful, we target every game as a win. We’re not scared of any team within this division. We’ve got the goal power and the players to get us off on a winning run and the work we’re doing is to try to make sure we achieve that.
“The challenge we’re putting to the players is for them to push on and pick up a run of wins. We got a good response after the Everton game with what we did against Accrington, and John Coleman even said in the press that they’d just come up against a team which was man-like in its performance. That’s exactly what we want.
“There was a sense of relief around after the Accrington victory because there’s a good group in there and players want reward. On Saturday they got that. It wasn't free-flowing or a continual wave of attacks, but it was a solid professional performance. That’s the platform for us to build on because all successful teams have to have that solidity and unity.”
“We’re doing double sessions at the moment because we see this as an important work period,” he commented. “We have a good foothold in the division and now is the time for the finer details to be ironed out. That’s why we’re working morning and afternoon on the training ground so that we can get things as to close to where we want them to be as possible.
“We’re trying to create an environment whereby anything a player isn’t sure about, he can come and see us. We will then go through it on a white board, or verbally, or whatever is needed, so that we know everyone understands what’s required.”
And on the gruelling four-week schedule ahead, he said: “We’re heading into a busy period so we utilise the rest periods as well as we can. The games will take care of themselves. I’ve said it before, as a player I know I preferred playing Saturday-Tuesday because it meant I wasn’t training as much.
“You get into a rhythm when the games come along like this and you start to look forward to them. The way the lads rest and recuperate away from the club will be important because they all know they’re here to work hard whenever they’re in.
“We saw last week that we need everyone to be ready to go all the time. Alexander McQueen and Macaulay Gillesphey came in and they looked like they'd been playing every week. That goes down to the unseen work of Lee Fearn.
“Physically, players who have been out of the frame are coming in and looking like they're up to the challenge. That shows the work that goes on behind the scenes. When the players who are playing week in and week out are getting days off, the other players are given programmes so that when they do get their opportunity, they're able to grasp it.”
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