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MANAGER: A realistic chance to progress

18 March 2016

Keith Curle ahead of the Wycombe home game

Manager Keith Curle spoke to us ahead of the Wycombe game at his Friday afternoon press conference.

“It’s a good opportunity for us to get points and it’s another big game,” he said. “If you’d told us at the start of the season we’d be stepping into the last ten games and we’d be around the play-off places, we’d probably have deemed that to be a success. 

“There’s a realistic chance that we can progress and I don’t think there’s anything in the division for us to be scared of. We’re definitely taking steps in the right direction, which I think is pleasing.

“It’s very tight at the top and we haven’t quite yet managed the run of winning consecutive games that everyone else has had. We’re more than capable of doing that and we’ve become a difficult team to beat. That comes down to a good work ethic and a belief we can compete with anyone in this division.”

“We went down to their place earlier in the season and we gave a very good performance, particularly in the letter stages of the game,” he commented. “I didn’t think we started very well but we adapted to the sending off and we got a foothold. It was one we almost won because we nullified the threats they have really well. 

“I went to watch them play Accrington on Wednesday with my coaching staff and we know what to expect from them. That has helped us to highlight key areas where we know we can cause them problems. They showed they have a good understanding of how they want to play and there is good experience in their side.

“They’re able to mix it up with good energy and strength, but we do feel there are areas we can exploit to our advantage. Now would be a nice time to get the momentum going we’ve been talking about. You tend to find that the team who gets into the play-off places late in the day does so with confidence. I’ve said it before, there’s no reason why that can’t be us.”

“We have a clean bill of health, which is good news,” he added. “It gives us good selection problems going into the latter stages of the season. We have some good personalities in the dressing room and a level of camaraderie is building within the squad. They all know they have a period of games coming up now whereby it’s all hands on deck, because we want to give it a right good go.
“Antony Sweeney played in the Barrow game on Tuesday for 45 minutes and he did well. He trained full steam ahead on Thursday so he’s put his hat in the ring for selection. Jabo [Ibehre] missed out last week because he had a knock on his elbow which somehow became infected. His elbow is still a little bit tender so we’re being slightly protective of it at the moment. That’s just a minor precaution because he will be available for selection.”

“As I say, it’s all still there for us to play for and I can’t see any Carlisle supporter thinking it’s all over ... we have no chance,” he insisted. “We’re in the mix and that’s a million miles away from where we were last season. We would have liked some better results at times but we’re facing in the right direction and we have good players who have a real air of arrogance and confidence. 

“We haven’t maximised our performance levels within the group we have here yet and that’s why we’re constantly looking to add to it. We’re very close to achieving that at the moment and we’re hoping for the go ahead to sign one, possibly two players ahead of tomorrow. 

“That’s a midfielder and a wide player and one of them is currently with a Premier League club, with the other being unattached at this moment in time. We missed out on one at 9.30am this morning when a League One club contacted us to say the player we were interested in didn’t want to come up here. 

“They have strong lads at the back and they’re a team which can be up for a fight. They can be very direct in their play and they have no hesitation in putting the ball back into the danger area. They always want to be making things happen so we’ll need to be on our guard. When we have the ball we need to use it well.” 

On the club’s support of the Kick It Out campaign this weekend, he said: “I don’t think there’s any room at all for any discrimination in any walk of life. To be able to use football as a vehicle to get that message across is a good thing. 

“Football clubs have to lead on this sort of thing and hopefully we will help to raise awareness by the players wearing the t-shirts on Saturday. That gets people talking about it, and even though wearing t-shirts is a small thing to do, it becomes significant because people tend to listen and react to what their role models do and say.

“There simply is no room for discrimination in any walk of life and we’re pleased that we’re doing our bit.”

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