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MANAGER: Lacked a little bit of quality

8 March 2016

Keith Curle with reaction to the 0-0 draw at Dagenham

Manager Keith Curle spoke to us shortly after full time following the 0-0 draw at Dagenham on Tuesday evening.

"To say I'm disappointed would be a slight understatement," he said. "We started the game well and created good opportunities when we got into the final third. We lacked a little bit of quality in some of the balls into the box but overall I think we had total dominance.

"We didn't want half time to come because we were dominant at the back and in midfield, and we were creating chances up front.

"I think Mark [Gillespie] had one shot to save from a counter attack. The lad shot from an angle and Mark comfortably parried it away. Apart from that, I thought we had good energy and understanding. There were lots of positives going forward and we looked solid at the back.

"I thought we gave them a shock with our levels of aggression and the tempo in our play which put them on the back foot and gave them a wobble."

"It's another point gained on the road," he continued. "We obviously looked at the games in hand and we thought this was a game we should have won.

"I think if we'd got one goal we could have gone on to be comfortable. On the other hand, at the start of the second half, we could have been two down after five minutes. That was the same the other way in the first half when we could and should have been two up.

"Those are the fine margins but, at the end of the day, we've got to hit the back of the net when we get the opportunity.

"We created clear-cut chances but we were lacking that bit of quality in the final third. We didn't hit the back of the net and we didn't make good contact with the ball when it was in their box.

"The ball was bouncing around from some of our long throws and set pieces and on another day it could have been a centre forward's dream.

"There's nothing to say we won't go to Exeter, get one chance and score one goal and go home with all three points." 

“Belief is definitely still there that we can do the job,” he said. “We’re creating opportunities and the goals will come if we continue to do that. We were up against a team fighting for their lives and we carved them open in the first half, almost at will. 

“They rallied in the second half and they made it competitive. I still thought we had enough in us to win the game. We looked dominant and we looked physical for good periods and we kept thinking that if we could just get the goal it would really push us on.

“It was a performance which was worthy of goals. We had a reshuffle after conceding four goals at the weekend and it was pleasing to keep a clean sheet. I wasn’t happy with some of the chances Dagenham got in the second half because they were potentially opportunities for them to score. 

“The focus has to be on the fact chances were created by us but we didn’t take them. That's the disappointing thing."
On the need for new faces, he said: "We're looking to improve in every single department. That doesn't mean that because we didn't score tonight we'll go and look for a centre forward. We're looking to improve the whole squad as and when the players come available.

"If they're better than what we've got, in my opinion, then we will try and recruit them. We created enough chances today to win two games. Against Northampton we created six chances and scored one, they created five chances and scored four.

"We're getting in the right areas and creating chances so we know the goals will come. We could be leaving here with Jabo Ibehre, Charlie Wyke, Hallam Hope and Alex Gilliead having scored a goal each.

"I am constantly looking to improve the footballing aspect of the football club and that will not change. Money is available and wage contributions aren't something for us to be scared of.

"I'm not going to lower my expectations in terms of the quality of player I want to bring in because I think that would be a disservice to this football club.

"I'm going for quality and I do think there will be new faces in before the window closes. I'm looking for initial 28-day loans with the potential to extend if all goes well. There are also players out of contract who could do a job until the end of the season.

"There's nothing saying that any loan signings have to be signed with a long term vision. I want a quality 18 to put on the team sheet and I know I need something different within the squad.

“There will be additions to the squad between now and the end of the season. We still have a fantastic chance of getting in the play-offs.

“If I can bring two or three players into the fold there’ll be some unhappy players in the existing squad. I want to bring quality players in to compete for places. I owe it to the supporters and the club to do my due diligence in the best way possible." 

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.

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