Keith Curle ahead of the visit of Mansfield TownManager Keith Curle spoke to us ahead of the visit of Mansfield Town on Saturday as he looks for his side to continue the good run of home form.
“We’ve got a few knocks and bruises which is what you’d expect after most fixtures in this division,” he said. “Other than that, we’ve got a clean bill of health. Mike Jones has got a broken nose, but he’s ok to play. It’s disjointed but it isn’t affecting his breathing or anything.
“You always take stock of your players after every game and we’re in a good place at the moment. We’ll need to make sure we focus again on the jobs we need to do because Mansfield have got good momentum and a good manager with good experience.
“They have a group of players with good energy levels and good ability. It might not be a game for the purists but we know what to expect, and they’re going to get exactly the same back at them.”
On new Stags boss Steve Evans, he said: “Steve is very easy to fall out with. I’ve had a few fall outs with him in the past, but we’ve always ended on a handshake. I quite like him, to be honest, because there is always a good exchange of views.
“His assistant Paul Raynor will be a constant menace to the fourth official, but we’ve got staff members with that same passion on our bench as well.”
“I don’t think they’ll try and be a passing team,” he commented. “They’ll play what you’d call League Two football. They’ll get it back to front then get after it. They’ll consistently put the ball in our box and we will have to be able to deal with it.
“What you find with teams that play in that way is that they don’t like exactly the same thing back at them. We know how we want to play against them and we’ll be looking to deal with whatever they come at us with at the same time as doing our jobs to try to get the three points.
“There’s a fantastic work ethic amongst the group. We’re maximising every opportunity to be successful. I met somebody who was walking their dog at Creighton the other day and he congratulated me on the great result against Exeter, then told me there was no way he was ever leaving Brunton Park until the referee blows the final whistle.
“That’s what you want. People are coming and getting value for money, and they’re staying for 95 or 96 minutes because they know if there’s anything to be gained from the game, we will gain it.”
“I really do think our supporters are getting value for money,” he told us. “They’re coming out in their numbers and they’re being rewarded with effort, commitment and ability. Brunton Park is a fantastic place to play at the moment.
“I don’t think we could have asked for a better response to the Newport defeat. We had a difficult game against Exeter, then another difficult game at Grimsby, who had just beaten the league leaders away from home. Every game is a challenge and this one against Mansfield will be no different. The good thing is that we’re a group that likes challenges.”
And helping to prepare for that latest challenge was a session with a difference on Thursday morning as the players sat down to watch a video analysis package covering the high and low points from last Saturday’s game.
“I don’t like conceding goals - I like scoring goals and winning games,” manager Keith Curle said. “As far as I’m concerned we’re still a work in progress and we have to use every tool available to help us to get to where we want to be.
“We did some video analysis on Thursday morning before we started the main session and we were able to go through a lot of positives from the game on Tuesday night. We make sure we start and end on positives, but within that we know we can still improve individually and collectively.
“We don’t concentrate on what other teams are doing but we do keep an eye on them. The last message before we left the changing room on Tuesday night was that there was one team above us. We wanted to get closer, and by gaining that point we’re a point closer to Plymouth. We’ll be looking to gain more points to help us again on Saturday.”