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MANAGER: Credit to the lads for taking the information on board

Keith Curle with his reaction to the Cambridge game

12 August 2017

Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to another very good away win shortly after the full time whistle had blown at the Cambs Glass Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

“This was a result that we earned,” he said. “We used the detail and information we had at our disposal to come up with a game plan we felt would work to our advantage.

“We knew Cambridge would be hurting, because they’d lost their first two games, and Shaun Derry has a way about him where you know his team is going to ask you questions. What you can’t do is take a backwards step when you’re faced with it.

“You have to get on the front foot as early as you can, and that’s what we did. They couldn’t deal with us for the first 20 minutes and we could have had a goal from Richie Bennett before we went on to get our goal with Reggie Lambe.”

“As soon as we came away from the win on Tuesday night our focus changed to the problems and challenges we were going to face against a very strong side,” he said. “The players took everything they were told on board and they applied themselves really well.

“If we’re going to be a progressive team that’s what has to happen. They have to understand why we’re asking them to do different jobs or roles and, in this case, we asked them to play in a way which is different to what we get them to do every day in training.

“Our natural default is to pass and move the ball around but a team like this, off the back of two defeats, is going to want confrontation. We met that head on and we earned the right to score our goals. That came from having a game plan of wanting to play in the final 35 yards of the pitch as much as possible.”

Speaking about the penalty decision which brought Cambridge right back into the game, he said: “We can argue over whether or not the goal against us was a penalty, but I did think their lad went down very easily.

“Having said that, we didn’t deal with the initial ball into the box and that’s something we can work on. We made getting into the box far too easy for them. There was then a push in the back on somebody who is quite robust, but he did seem to go down very easily.

“They worked hard to earn the right to be in there, so credit to them, and other than that I thought we defended very well.”

“It was the type of game at 1-1 where the next team to score was going to be the one to go on and gather the momentum,” he continued. “We dug deep to make sure that was us. Credit to the research done beforehand for that because we felt we could be a danger from set pieces against them.

“The goal before half time was something we deserved and I have to say that the two centre backs, the back four and the two holding midfielders – Luke Joyce and Gary Liddle – stood up to everything that was thrown at them and they did their jobs admirably.

“That came down to being brave enough to select the team I felt would be best placed to get us the win. I have to make sure I go with the decisions I feel are right. I knew Gary Liddle would give us a physical presence in areas where they were going to be direct and try to go through the middle of the pitch. He was also protection in front of our two centre backs because we knew that was where the majority of their game was going to be played.”

We’ll have more from the manager on his team selection from Saturday’s fixture on the official website this weekend.

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