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MANAGER: There will be games and periods of games where things don't go your way

Keith Curle on form, Brown and Bonham

28 December 2017

We spoke to United boss Keith Curle about the current run of victories and form which have taken his side to within touching distance of the play-off places with just over half of the season played.

“There are lots of pleasing things to come out of the last three games but there are still things we know we need to work on,” he said. “There are a lot of areas we can still improve, such as our decision making, our quality in possession and ultimately our goal output.

“We’ve got a bit of momentum now, but we’ve had to work for it. When you work hard to create momentum, it then gives you an opportunity to work harder and really push on. Some people can get hung up on league tables, but the end of the season is where it shows how well you’ve done.

“Within the season there will be games and periods of games where things don’t go your way, but we’ve stuck together as a group and we’re in a position where we’re we’ll be able to maintain the momentum if we’re able to keep the form, the confidence and the belief under wraps.

“At the same time we need to make sure we enjoy it as we work even harder. Our aspiration is to be plying our trade out of this division, but you only achieve that by being better.

“Whatever competition you’re in, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. We had a shortened pre-season and we added some new skill sets, and it does take time to get things the way you all want them to be. Within that you have to find another way to win games, because of the change in the way you play, and the lads have shown a willingness to do that.”

Meanwhile the manager also confirmed that talks are ongoing with Millwall as the Blues look to extend defender James Brown’s current loan spell beyond the end of this month, following an impressive first half-season with the club.

“I’ll be having a conversation with the stakeholders at the end of this month about various categories,” he confirmed. “There have been conversations between myself and the Millwall manager, and Nigel [Clibbens] has done the same at CEO level.

“All parties are steering towards making sure he continues his levels of improvement. He’s happy, we’re happy and Millwall are happy, so it’s just a case of bringing it to a conclusion.

“There is an element of waiting to see if there is interest from a higher division, we have to accept that, because the next step of his development could be for him to play the second half of the season in League One.

“But, like I say, we’re pleased with the part we’ve played with him so far, and he’s pleased with the game time he’s been getting, so it does seem a good fit. We’ll just have to wait and see what comes of the discussions we’re having.”

One player already tied up is keeper Jack Bonham, who committed his season to the club ahead of the away trip to Forest Green last week.

“The ideal thing would have been to have got Jack for the season initially, but he didn’t really know us, we didn’t know him, and we didn’t know that he was going to be the one we wanted to challenge for the number one position at that time,” he commented. “We’ve now had time to learn about him and his strengths, and we’re also seeing him develop constantly.

“That’s been important, at the same time as him being able to take a look at us, and I think we all agree that this is the best place for him to be. The fans have got behind him because of the eye-catching saves he makes, but the pleasing thing is that he isn’t just about that.

“He makes his saves but he’s also adding decision making and communication to his game. Being in the first team environment where winning games is paramount has done him the world of good. There is still room to improve, but he’s doing that because he wants to learn, and he wants to progress.”

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