Manager Keith Curle on Warrington and Alexander McQueen
Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the away friendly performance at Warrington Town which saw his side run out as 4-0 winners thanks to goals from Jason Kennedy, Danny Grainger, Reggie Lambe and Charlie Wyke.
“We’ve now come to the end of the first bank of our pre-season package where we had a good run of games scheduled to play,” he said. “The important thing is that we’ve come through it unscathed injury wise and we have a clean bill of health.
“Charlie [Wyke] had obviously missed a couple of days and he knew it was important that he kept putting a work load in on the training ground with Lee [Fearn] and Dolly. He’s done that and he popped up with a goal for himself in the second half.
“David Atkinson is physically there but mentally he’s a new dad and he still has the excitement and anxieties of that to contend with. He’s experiencing the sleepless nights and the complexities that come along with being a parent, but he has been fantastic in training and in the games he’s played.
“The lads who have done every day of pre-season now have a four-day break but that isn’t the case for Shaun [Brisley]. He knows he still has a little bit to catch up and that he needs to add mileage into his legs. The good thing is that he’s reached a stage where he can be involved in games and he can start to push on from here.”
“I have to say that the attitude shown by the players has been exceptional,” he continued. “They’ve trained hard and got the benefit of doing that with the way they have applied themselves.
“We’ve had them away at Mottram Hall for the last three days and we’ve been able to work closely with them with absolutely no distractions at all. The way they bought into that has been very pleasing.”
“They were all looking forward to getting more pitch time at Warrington and the margin of the victory was a good one for them,” he commented. “Having said that, there are always things you see that need to be worked on.
“The condition of the pitch wasn’t designed for moving the ball quickly which does level things up a bit. Some of our movement, rotation and forward play was a sign of the intuitive and instinctive play we’re trying to create when we have possession of the ball.
“We had some good combinations and we saw Jamie Devitt and Shaun Miller working well together in the first half. In the second half we had Charlie Wyke and Jabo Ibehre showing a good understanding of their strike partnership and there were some really positive signs in all areas of the pitch.
“We got to play a 4-4-1-1 and a 4-3-3 and we were able to try different personnel within those formations. It’s given me good for thought and one thing I can say is that my starting eleven is nowhere near selected.
“One good thing to see was that a lot of what we worked on in training on Wednesday came to fruition during the game. We’re going into this season wanting to be productive and forward thinking and there were passages of play where we got it, without the execution quite being right.
“That tells me there’s more work to be done and the things I think aren’t right will be what we take into our training sessions going forward.”
"What I would like to say is a huge thank you to Warrington Football Club for the way they looked after us," he said. "They were really pleased to see us and they made sure the staff and players had everything they needed.
"Yet again we've made more new friends and we all wish them well for their season ahead."
Speaking about the ongoing situation with defender Alexander McQueen, who was offered a new deal at the end of last season, he said: “We’re hearing little rumours now that he’s training somewhere else, but he has every right to do that.
“Every young player has the right to look at playing with clubs at higher levels if the opportunity presents itself but, within that, we have every right to seek compensation if another club wishes to acquire his services.”
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