Manager Keith Curle spoke to us today about the Saturday home game against Accrington Stanley as his side looks to continue its unbeaten run following a fantastic opening month.
“Accrington will come here to compete,” he said. “I think they’ll try to squeeze the life out of the game. They’ll be in our faces, aggressive and confrontational, and they’ll try to play a high line to condense the play.
“Their style won’t be to allow us to have the ball at our leisure because that isn’t how the manager likes them to do things. They work hard for him and they have good belief in what they’re doing. We need to counter that and we need to make sure we’re able to stamp our authority in the right manner and in the right areas.”
“They come to us as a dangerous animal,” he continued. “Part of their make-up is to compete for everything, and a big reason for their success is that if you beat them it’s because you’ve had to earn it. I’ll be making sure I remind the players of that before they go out.
“The good thing is that I know we will compete with them. It’ll be a lively game and I think there’ll be a bit of spice there. It’s the type of game our fans enjoy and ultimately it’s about what the teams do out on the pitch.
“We have a full complement of players who are chomping at the bit. They all want to be playing and I like that, because it creates a very competitive environment. I’m paid to make the decisions and pick the team I think will win us the game.
“Our only worry was Jason [Kennedy] but he has had an anti-inflammatory injection in his pelvis and that’s done the trick.”
On his call for fans to come along and back the team, he said: “I think the fans are getting value for money. We’re producing what we said we’d deliver, which is free-flowing, entertaining and attacking football.
“A nice memory I have is when I walked out for the Everton game and Brunton Park was rocking. That’s the kind of environment I want to work in. I want this stadium to be like that on a weekly basis. I want us to be playing the biggest teams and playing well.
“People might call that a bit of a fantasy but look at Bournemouth. How many of their fans would have said they’d be where they are now six years ago? I remember playing them in League One when I was at Notts County and I wouldn’t have said they were a Premier League outfit.
“Money helps, of course it does, and you see that with some of the transfers which happened in our division. It does help you get better players, but I’m happy with the money we’ve spent and what we’ve got.
“It’ll be nice to see Bastein [Hery] again. It’s no surprise to me that he was courted by them. On his day he’s a very good player because he catches the eye. There are a lot of things he does I like, but there are other areas I felt he needed to work on to get to the levels he aspires to reach.”
Speaking about the closure of the August transfer window, he told us: “As I say, we have a very good squad so I’m more than happy with what we’ve got. Players here know if their performances drop off they’ll have somebody waiting to take the shirt. That’s a good place for a manager to be.
“A good analogy to use is that we were out for a casual stroll and if the right purchase had come along we were in for it. The good thing is that there was no need for a frantic scramble to get bodies into the building. Our recruitment was done early and we’ve seen the benefit of that already.
“We did get very close to adding to the squad and I’m pleased to say we weren’t let down on the finances. It was more a case of the players choosing other options. You have to respect that.”
“Alex Gilliead is a good example of that,” he explained. “We were in the mix for him but he chose to go to Luton. Having spoken to his agent, he’s told us that from Newcastle’s point of view they felt it would benefit him more if he was taken out of his comfort zone. I understand that because that’s been done with other players from other clubs to see if they can cope.
“Kyle Dempsey is one of those. He has a massive test now because he went to Huddersfield in a blaze of glory – a year too early, in my opinion – and now he has a chance to get regular football at Fleetwood. He needs to make that work. I’ll be watching that with interest.”
On whether or not there was interest in any of our players, he said: “We had a few phone calls but nothing I felt would benefit the club or the player.
“There are two I need to speak to tell them there was interest but, in my opinion, it wasn’t right for them at this moment in time so it wasn’t progressed. That’s the right thing to do for me, as their manager, and I’ll be able to tell them they were only tentative enquiries.
“Obviously there are a number of free agents out there, due to players who have made their decision to get paid up by their clubs, so they are now available. We’ll monitor that and, again, if anything is right we’ll take a look at it.”