United boss Keith Curle spoke to us ahead of the weekend trip to The New Lawn to face Forest Green Rovers as United look to build on Tuesday night’s FA Cup drama with a return to winning ways in the league.
“We need to take the level of performance we saw against Gillingham down to Forest Green with us this weekend,” he said. “I want us to use it as a building block for what we want to achieve in the New Year.
“Make no mistake about it, this will be a difficult game. Mark [Cooper] knows how he wants his team to play and I think it’ll be a good, competitive game of football.
“They have a young team, playing without fear, so we’ll have to be ready for that. However, as we’ve seen recently, if we’re on our game it’s the opposition that has to worry about us.”
“The lads have been given all of the information they need,” he added. “They’re taking it on board and working hard in games to get results. If they keep doing that they won’t be going far wrong.
“Forest Green have found the transition to League Two football to be a tough one, but we can’t let that fool us. They’re full of energy and they will bring the game to us if we let them. We’ll need to replicate the application and attitude from Tuesday and make sure we keep going for the 90 or 95 minutes if we want to get a result.”
Speaking more about a slightly different method used to demand more from his players, he told us: “I’ve started that process by breaking things down for individuals.
“I felt that we needed to start to give clear Key Performance Indicators [KPIs] for where we want to put the ball and how we want players to carry out certain responsibilities.
“Each player was given their individual KPIs for Tuesday’s game because I wanted them to know how I wanted them to play. They’re all individuals, and they all do things in different ways, so the way they’re comfortable in playing is different from one to the other.
“The way I see it is that the more players we have hitting their own performance related successes the more successful we’re going to be as a team.”
“It isn’t something that’s shared as a group because each KPI is targeted to a specific player,” he continued. “It’s a way of me being certain that every player knows what I require from them.
“We started the process off with low level and achievable targets. The players responded to it, which was pleasing, and they deserved the performance and result they produced.”
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