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MANAGER: A dangerous animal to contend with

4 March 2016

Keith Curle ahead of the visit of Northampton Town on Saturday

Manager Keith Curle spoke to us ahead of the visit of high-fliers Northampton Town on Saturday.

“The mindset of the players tomorrow is that we've got nothing to lose,” he said. “Footballing wise, everybody expects us to get beat because they're riding high with the league title just about settled. 

“We've got nothing to lose and I think that's a dangerous animal for people to contend with. If they think we're going to go out and accept that we're not good enough to compete, they’ll get a shock. 

“They know we’re ready as well because we gave them a mighty scare at their place. We could have been two or three up within that game if we'd been more clinical. It took a couple of deflections to get them on their way to a hard fought victory.” 

“They won't take us lightly,” he commented. “I know the manager and assistant manager and they'll have good attention to detail worthy of the success they've had. They'll know the job isn't done and that there will be twists, turns and results to fight for from now until the end of the season. 

“They've found a unity which has been born out of adversity. I don't think any other manager would have liked their club to go through the turmoil they went through. It can be a distraction so you have to give credit to the football staff for keeping the focus on the pitch. 

“Things have gone their on that side of things. They've scored a lot of goals and gained a lot of points from set pieces. That's something we're mindful of because they're full of confidence and belief. They've got a level of consistency and they've got players with a lot of experience and know-how.”

“When we played them at their place we played a 4-5-1 formation and Derek [Asamoah] caused them a lot of problems with his pace,” he said. “We looked dangerous on the night and it took a couple of deflections to open us up. We're confident we can cause them problems.

“They've got good strengths but they've also got weaknesses. We've got a massive pitch and a good playing surface which is the same as they have. I think it will be an attacking game and I think Northampton will come here and play 4-2-3-1. 

“I don't think they know what we're going to play yet, which is to our advantage. We've got good attacking threats in wide areas and good defensive players coming back into the fold now. We've got good options and I don't think they'll be sat there with the same confidence I am about the shape they'll play. 

“The fans will play a massive part in this one. I know the supporters are out there because I was here for the Everton game. The noise and atmosphere inside the stadium was fantastic. We're playing top of the league tomorrow and I know our fans will want us to do well.”

On the search for new players, he said: “We were chasing one player this week but I then decided not to pursue it because of an international break. If we’d signed him it would have meant the player would have disappeared for a few days and that’s something I didn't want to do. 

“We also had a look at Chris Eagles at Bury. I made a phone call about him on Wednesday to try and get permission to speak to the player. I then found out that he'd taken part in an extra training session and he'd rolled his ankle. Sometimes things like that happen for a reason and it just wasn't meant to be. 

“Danny Grainger, Tom Miller and David Atkinson are all available for selection in the squad for tomorrow. They were training at the beginning part of the week but they were back with the group Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. That’s almost like getting three new quality players into the squad. 

“Charlie Wyke and Dan Hanford have both responded excellently to treatment, rest and rehabilitation. We are mindful of the fact they are still sore, so we'll give them an extra day to see if they’re available for selection. Antony Sweeney won't be available for another week at least.”

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