Keith Curle with his reaction to the Notts County away win
Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the thumping victory at Notts County on the last day of season.
“It’s been a different side to management this week because it’s been about keeping the players in focus,” he explained. “I wanted them to have a competitive edge and good levels of commitment going into the game. I didn’t want them to think about having flip flops on or putting towels down on sun loungers. I demanded that we finished the season in the right way.
“I suppose one of the tactics we used was fear. I’ve given a few tellings off through the season, if things haven’t been right, and they knew they were in for that if they came off the pitch without having given it their all.
“The players were reminded that we were coming to a place where I, Colin West, Lee Dykes and Lee Fearn were former employees. We didn’t want to walk out of this football club without having had a positive performance.
“We also gave the players tasks, roles and responsibilities because we wanted them to show people they could still do it, even though it was an end-of-season game. In my opinion there is always something to play for if you are representing Carlisle United, and that’s why I demanded that things were done properly.”
“I have good memories of Notts County and I will admit it was one I looked for home and away as soon as the fixture list came out,” he revealed. “When I came here I picked up a team which was going in the wrong direction.
“We missed out on the play-offs on goal difference in my first season, and we had games in hand which would have taken us to fourth or fifth in my second season. People do ask why I got the sack and I would say that the relationships I had with those who owned the club weren’t right at the time. That’s a shame but I do have a lot of respect for the people who gave me the chance to manage what is a fantastic football club with a lot of tradition.”
On the performance which brought a lot of chances and five well taken goals, he said: “We’re taking steps in the right direction and that’s important for us. We created and took chances today and goals always kill games.
“We got ours at the right time and that made it a good day for us. With a performance like this you look at the gap between where we we’ve finished, and the last play-off place, and you start to think that it should have been achievable. It’s a time for reflection now and I think we’ll find at least seven or eight points we should have had when we look through it all.
“There haven’t been too many games where we’ve failed to create chances but unfortunately we haven’t exploited them. What we can’t do is pick when we score, or when we keep clean sheets, but I’d still say that Notts County had too many chances at our end for my liking.
“The overview of the season from my point of view is that we’ve come a long way in a very short space of time. Foundations and pillars have been put in place which will stand us in good stead going forward.
“We finished tenth but there is a sense of frustration that it wasn’t better. I would have loved to have extended the season by two or three weeks and ended it with a play-off final. We’ve had some fantastic performances and results but we’ve also had some heartaches.
“The players have been a very professional group and I’ve really enjoyed working with them. The club is turning a corner and we want to continue that improvement. If I’m able to bring the players I’d like t bring in, and I don’t see any reason why that won’t happen, then the remit will be to finish above tenth next season.”
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