Keith Curle with reaction to the Yeovil away victoryManager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the away victory at Huish Park shortly after full time on Saturday afternoon.
“As a manager, as a club and as a team we needed a result,” he said. “It was evident for all to see when we looked back through the games from the last few weeks that we weren’t doing the simple things very well at all.
“Training last week was very basic and we made sure we went back to doing the things we were good at. I’ve said before, we’ve been missing key players, and when we get the likes of Jabo Ibehre, Mike Jones, Nicky Adams, Macaulay Gillesphey and Jason Kennedy back we’ll be a real force to be reckoned with.
“Obviously Mike is one who will be missing longer term but the others are getting there and, let me tell you, they’re chomping at the bit. The new personalities who have come in have had to try to adapt quickly and they’re starting to settle now as well. The changes forced on us did make it a fragile and fractured place to be but the determination to put it right has never gone away.”
“I don’t think it was a classic game in any way, shape or form,” he commented. “We’ve said it before, but goals change games and then, on the back of that, we saw it out professionally. We had opportunities within the game to get four or five goals and that means we’re creating chances.
“The pleasing thing is that we’ve won away from home with Jabo Ibehre and Jason Kennedy back in the squad and we haven’t had to use them. I had a feeling our first victory was going to be a scruffy one and Yeovil made us work for it.
“Having said that I thought we dealt comfortably with what they had to throw at us. There’s more to come from the players even though they go away feeling pleased. They’ve kept a clean sheet and our keeper has only had to make one very good save.”
Speaking about the choice of formation, he said: “We set up slightly differently with a 4-3-3 which could move to a 4-1-4-1 and that could have confused a few people. I went for experience in the midfield area and they protected the back line, and everyone worked off the back of that.
“We put Reggie [Lambe] over on the left because he has been itching to play out there. It worked for him because he ended up with about five goal scoring opportunities. He got his goal and an assist and that’s what he can bring for you.
“We felt he would attract their defenders out and leave room for John O’Sullivan to go and do his good work. The first goal came from those two, with John playing in a slightly unorthodox position, and I thought it was excellent play, good movement and a very good finish.
“Reggie was a constant threat and I thought, with the absence of Nicky Adams, it was a chance for him to stake his claim on the left hand side. He was very difficult to pick up and he was a threat with it so that’s given us another good option.”
On the importance of the result to the dressing room, he said: “The lads have been hurting and they’ve been feeling every single result. They’re not in holiday mode, or anything like that, because it’s a very professional environment and they want results. They want to be in the promotion hunt.
“There are still things we need to work on but one thing you can never say is that we’re not trying. I will not fail because of a lack of hard work. I enjoy my job and I enjoy being on a winning team.
“Sometimes you need to go the extra mile and that’s what we’ve been asking the players to do. There aren’t many teams who will be doing double sessions at this time of year, but we are, because we needed to give ourselves the best chance to get through the bad run we’ve been on.”
With the players visibly lifted by the result and the performance we wondered how it felt for the manager after what had been a testing and difficult period.
“I want to go home now,” he revealed. “I need to say sorry to a few people because my house hasn’t been a nice place to be recently. I need to speak to my kids, my neighbours, and everybody because I’ve been a very frustrated individual.”
“When we got that first goal I looked at the clock and thought – I wish it was 95 minutes!” he joked. “I don’t ever over-celebrate a goal, so it was the same when that went in, but part of my DNA is that I love winning football matches.
“I’m here to instil that mentality in the group and we have to acknowledge that getting wins is something which we haven’t had over recent weeks. Hopefully we’re now seeing positive signs at exactly the right time.
“It’s been touched on a lot that clean sheets are another thing that have been missing in our game, but this one was earned. We limited Yeovil’s chances and the lads worked hard for this one.
“We needed to score and we needed to keep a clean sheet. We’ve created an atmosphere where we have players who don’t like to lose games. This gives us something to build on and it’s important that we do exactly that going into next week.”