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MANAGER: A strong team performance

30 March 2016

Keith Curle on good goals and team selection

United manager Keith Curle spoke to us about the quality of the Easter Monday goals as his side played their way to an entertaining 3-2 victory against Bristol Rovers.

“The goal from Jack [Stacey] came at a good time because we were on top in the game,” he said. “The best thing about that goal is that Lee Dykes and Colin West have been working on finishing drills with him. He had one training session on it and the result was one cracking goal. 

“I think it’s fair to say Jason [Kennedy] is disappointed that he hasn’t got more goals this season. It’s been in the back of his mind because he seems to have been getting into goal scoring positions too soon. That’s put him ahead of the ball and you get that from the anxiety of not having scored in a while. He’s definitely a goal scorer and there’s more of that to come from him.

“We’ve been getting opportunities recently but on clear-cut chances in this game we maybe had five and scored three of them. We know goals are coming because we’re creating the openings.”

Speaking about the omission of Hallam Hope from the match day squad, he said: “I had a chat with Hallam after we’d named the full squad on Monday because I thought that was important. 

“I told him I thought he hadn’t given me enough last week. It was an opportunity for him to rest up, take the game in and come back and show me what he’s got having had that rest. He knows himself he didn’t perform against Yeovil. I was disappointed with his end product – but so was he. That shows the honesty of the lad because he knows he didn’t cover himself with glory. 

“The competition for him to get back on the bus starts with the reserve game at Fleetwood today [Tuesday]. That’s a good chance for a number of players to get more game time under their belts.”

“Jabo Ibehre was on the bench because he was in bed for three days with the flu,” he explained. “He didn’t train on Sunday so he’s been under the care and attention of Dolly. 

“We had to wait until quarter past twelve to get the go ahead that he would be able to sit on the bench because he’s been having medication and hot sweats. Hopefully he’ll be over that soon.

“Other than that, we have a full complement to choose from apart from Alex McQueen. He picked up a groin injury in the game at Burnley last week but it’s nothing too serious. Hopefully he will be back next week, or possibly even at the end of this one.”

And on the unexpected return of Alex Gilliead from international duties, he said: “As soon as we found out Alex had been selected I made contact with Keith Downing. I had a conversation with him about the format of the week and I sent him a nice text to explain that I fully appreciated the call-up and what it means for the young man. 

“I also asked if it was taken into account the fact that the player was playing league football. In terms of his development we see ourselves as being a massive part of Alex Gilliead’s progression. 

“We don’t want his chance to shine to be taken away by an international call-up. We were able to agree that Alex could return and it was good to see him play a big part in what was a strong team performance.”

United PlayerHD subscribers can see an interview with Keith Curle now. Click HERE to go to the PlayerHD platform. Follow the same link for more information on United PlayerHD, and to subscribe.

Click HERE to see a clip from this interview on our YouTube channel. Follow the same link for more FREE content right from the heart of the club.

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