Keith Curle ahead of the visit of Wycombe WanderersManager Keith Curle spoke to us ahead of the home game against Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday.
“Wycombe are a team who won’t lie down,” he said. “I know Gareth [Ainsworth] and his teams resemble him. They’ll be hard working and they’ll know their roles.
“They won’t be shy of a long pass and they’ll get in and around the ball quickly. We have to stand up and match that and then play the game how we want to play.
“They work hard out of possession and they get their support play in place very quickly. Anything we get out of game like this will have been earned.”
“Wycombe will be looking at our squad and they won’t have a clue about what formation we will use or which personnel we will select,” he added. “It might be that they’ve looked at how other teams have got favourable results and they will try to replicate that.
“If they come and play a pressing game, we’ll have a method to counter that, and if they decide to sit back, we’ll have a game plan for that as well. The players will be given the information they need to deal with Wycombe, but tomorrow is about us.
“We’re very respectful of the opposition and we’ll be ready for what we think they can and can’t do. However, most of our work will be about how we will implement our formation and the personnel within it. The pleasing thing is that we think we still have a lot more to come from our competitive squad.”
“If things aren’t quite going our way on the day we won’t abandon our philosophy,” he said. “We’re trying to build a style of how we want the game to be played.
“The ideal scenario is that I’ve picked the team, the players are performing in the way they can and we win comfortably. I can then put three subs on purely to get them appearance money. Unfortunately things don’t always go to plan and that’s when I have to be brave enough to change it.
“The beauty of football and the reason why we all go is because we don’t know what we’re going to get. Everyone has an opinion on what the team should be tomorrow and half of them might be right.
“We took almost 3,000 fans to Blackpool last weekend which shows you there’s a foundation and support level there. Can we now get three-and-a-half sides of Brunton Park filled with Carlisle supporters?
“We’ve done it once since I’ve been here and it was phenomenal against Everton. We had over 8,000 here for the Hartlepool game a couple of seasons ago - that’s my aim because the more people we can get in here the more money is generated. With that we can increase the budget and increase the quality in the football club.
“I look at what I’m getting out of the players and there have been certain times when I’ve needed to get a little bit extra, and the response I’ve had from the players has been fantastic. That shows they aren’t just buying into me, they’re buying into the coaching staff and what we’re trying to implement at the football club. There will be individual mistakes and circumstances within games we think we can avoid, and we do work on that.
“There are Premier League managers and coaches who see their teams go out and make mistakes they aren’t happy with. There’s a level of acceptance because I know the players are giving me everything they’ve got. We’re trying to get that level of performance whereby we limit and learn from the mistakes they do make, whilst also having an environment where players can still go and express themselves.”
On the unbeaten start to the season, he said: “The players are very proud of this run. We’re one win away from having a fantastic start to the season. Likewise we’re one defeat away from it being an average start, albeit an above average start.
“There is an emphasis on not getting beat which is important. That wasn’t there when we walked into the building. I think we’d gone 17 or 18 games without a win so there was a need for a platform and a foundation to build on. Not getting beat is the starting point.
“We look at and work on our mistakes and it’s a very enjoyable place to be. We’re working in an ever-changing environment and grass doesn’t grow on a busy street. We’re always moving and everything we do is geared towards success.”
And on the latest with Derek Asamoah, he commented: “Derek is still training with us. There is a reason why I didn’t offer Derek a contract. Being in the latter stages of his career he wanted to have more game time and start enjoying his football.
“That hasn’t happened, so I’m looking at whether I can use him as an impact player and sometimes as a lone striker, as he did exceptionally well against Liverpool and Northampton last season.
“It’s another option, but there are other options out there with pace. Derek has good dynamics and the ability to score goals, but we’ve got a different group with different characteristics now. I need to make sure we’ve got the right blend and that it will suit all parties.
“I’ve got a budget to work within and I don’t just want to fill a seat in the stand. If a game is 0-0 with 15 or 20 minutes to go, and we need that injection of pace, sometimes it’s good to have that on the bench.
“The threat of that pace can sometimes change the game. If people see a quick centre forward coming on they think they need to give themselves an extra couple of yards, which can give the midfielders space to get on the ball. As I say, it’s an option but we need to be sure that it will work for all parties.”
“We had another trialist with us at Oldham and he has been invited back,” he confirmed. “He was at Chelsea as a young lad, he’s caught the eye in training and there’s something about his game that I like.
“I just need to make sure I can fit him into a long term vision but he’s a little bit like Alex McQueen in terms of being a project. If it comes off it’s a fantastic opportunity for the lad to come in and play league games, which is what his career needs.
“I need to make sure he’s got characteristics that fit into the group, and skill sets I think I can use, because I don’t give contracts away.”