Keith Curle with reaction to the Kendal game
Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the Kendal friendly game shortly after full time on Wednesday night.
“I think there were a lot of positives for both sides to take from that,” he said. “I’d like to say thank you very much to Kendal for looking after us and I have to say their pitch is in very good condition.
“It was nice to see a good turnout, particularly with the Wales game being on, and I think they’ll all have enjoyed what they saw.”
“First and foremost these games are about getting minutes on the pitch,” he continued. “You can train as much as you want but you always need game time. We’ve been thankful for the competitive nature of both games we’ve played this week and it’s been good for me to be able to cast an eye over whether or not the players are picking up on certain messages they’ve been given in training.
“The pleasing thing is that the attitude of the players has been excellent. They know these games have been part of their training and development as a squad and it’s confirmed in my mind that we have a good group of professionals who are taking things very seriously. Competition for places has already started for the first game of the season.”
“Most importantly for us was that we approached it in a professional manner,” he commented. “It was an opportunity for our lads to get at least another 45 minutes under their belts and they used it well.
“We’ve seen the new players bed in to the fabric of what we’re doing a bit more and that’s testament to our recruitment. You could see that we wanted to score goals and that was something we felt we lacked towards the back end of last season.
“I know I want to watch entertaining and attacking football and to have that you need players who have good movement and the bravery to get on the ball at the right times.”
“I thought Kendal equipped themselves very well,” he agreed. “I was here just after 5pm and I saw their players arrive, some still with work clothes on, and you could tell they didn’t want to miss this.
“They’ve been very competitive, and very welcoming, and they are a great community club. They’ve looked after us, opened the doors and their chairman even came round to give out free Mint Cake. I have to say that stuff was very nice.”
On the goals scored by his team, he said: “Goals breed confidence, especially for strikers. It’s always nice to win a game and what you find with forwards is that if they’re walking past an empty net they just have to kick a ball into it! It won’t have done them any harm at all.
“We’re not the finished article yet. The additions have integrated well and we’re seeing already that the dressing room is coming together. A couple of players were missing but there’s nothing sinister in that.
“Charlie [Wyke] picked up a knock on Tuesday and the diagnosis is that it’s just a slight sprain. Dolly isn’t overly concerned but there was no need to risk him by playing him in this game.
“With Shaun Brisley, I’ll be governed by Lee Fearn. He’s monitoring and collecting the data on Shaun’s fitness levels and what we need to do is make sure that when we play him he’s in the right condition. We expect to see him at some stage on Saturday.
“Tom [Miller] is fine but he had a bit of a sore knee. We don’t need to be using players who have any risk factors at this stage. He woke up this morning [Tuseday] and felt fine, but he thinks he might have pinched something in his knee when he went through a bit of a loosener in the gym.
“If it had been a league he’d have played but, as I say, we don’t need to have a culture where the lads feel they need to be involved at the moment. If they aren’t right they aren’t right.”
And on the trialists who made an appearance, he said: “We’ll be making decisions on the trialists in the latter stages of this week. If they don’t stay with us it definitely isn’t a failure on their part.
“They’ve all worked hard and they’ve given us something to think about. We haven’t named them because we think that’s unfair on them. We know that can be frustrating when it comes to reporting on them but we feel it’s the best way to let them come in and do what they need to do.”
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