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MANAGER: Going to be doing everything we can

19 March 2016

Keith Curle with his reaction to the Wycombe home draw

United manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the 1-1 draw with Wycombe on Saturday afternoon.

“We’ve had three games recently where we’ve only come away with three points when we’ve probably done enough to get all nine,” he said. “It’s important in a run like this that you don’t get beat because it gives you a foundation and a platform. That’s what we have and we will keep doing that work until the win comes, which it will.

“I think if we’d scored the early goal from the two or three chances we had it could have been a different story. They had one header in that spell and they got a goal from it, which was disappointing.

“We had two clubs who came together today who want to get into the play-offs. I don’t think either manager would have wanted a point before the game, but I think Gareth [Ainsworth] will be happier than I am after the 90 minutes.

“We dominated most of the game but we just lacked that bit of luck or quality which would have made a difference. Wycombe defended with their lives along with that because we did make some very good chances.

“The pleasing thing is there were some really good quality balls into the box. We just didn’t quite get the right contact, in the right areas, at the right times but, as I say, we’re creating some very good openings and the goals will come from that.”

“Danny Grainger put some fantastic balls in today and if I was a centre forward I’d be looking forward to that because you would know opportunities were going to come,” he commented. 

“Some of Wycombe’s blocks and last ditch defending were exactly what you need at this level. They defended a lot of the crosses we put into their box and that’s why they don’t concede many.”

On the starting line up and team shape, he said: “The decision to put Dave Atkinson in front of the back four was purely tactical. I might have even considered putting Martin Smith in but I felt the right thing for him to do was to get an understanding of what was needed and how we played. 

“Wycombe do have players who like to make space by running off so we needed a defensive minded player in there.”

“There’s disappointment around the dressing room with the way we conceded their goal,” he admitted. “It came from one of our set pieces and, even though we got bodies back to defend, we didn’t stop the ball from coming in and we didn’t mark people. We have League Two players and they want to learn from things like this, and I’m sure they will. 

“The build up for our goal was enjoyable, we have to say that. They don’t concede many goals but I do feel we needed to do that kind of thing more. If we can pick the right passes and make the right choices we’ll find that we’re getting behind teams. 

“Charlie [Wyke] has chipped in with goals ever since he came to the club. As I say, the build up for his goal today was excellent and it was an example of the kind of football we like to play.

“I thought we looked a real threat in the first half from set pieces. There was good first contact in the box on a number of occasions but, again, we’ve taken wrong options and we didn’t add to our tally because of it.”

Speaking about the first half penalty, he said: “The penalty save was an important moment for Mark [Gillespie]. I didn’t really think it was a penalty in the first place but his save kept us in the game. It was a fantastic stop after what was a soft decision.

“The sending off was dubious but the same thing happened to us at their place, so there’s not much you can say. I think we were the better team overall and we created the better opportunities having had more of the ball. 

“All I’ve said to the lads at full time is that I’ll see them on Wednesday. The lads who are playing need to be able to rest, so down time is important ahead of what will be a massive weekend. 

“The lads who played the majority of the game will have the first two days of the week off. The other lads will take part in a bounce game we have against Burnley on Tuesday down at their place. 

“The coming week is an opportunity to get six points. That won’t be easy because we’re up against teams who need points for their own reasons. We know a lot about Yeovil and Bristol Rovers so we’ll do what we can to make it a successful four days. A couple of victories will put us right back in it and that’s what we’re aiming for.

“We’re still in the chasing pack and we won’t be giving in. We’re going to be doing everything can to try to get the points we need.”

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