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MANAGER: It's a 'must be competitive' game

Manager Keith Curle ahead of the trip to Mansfield

31 December 2017

Manager Keith Curle spoke to us about the New Year’s Day trip to face Mansfield Town as he looks for his side to bounce back from a disappointing Saturday afternoon result.

“They’ll be dogged and determined, and they’ll come at us,” he said. “The pleasing thing is that they know they’ll be met by a team with exactly the same characteristics.

“We’ll be looking for a reaction to the Coventry result and we’ll put demands on the players so they know what we expect. The changing room is hurting because they knew they were on the up.

“The last three victories have all been hard earned and that’s what we need to get back to.”

“Mansfield will be buoyant because of their victory and they’ll see it as a good opportunity to carry that on at home,” he added. “Is it a must-win? No, but it as a ‘must be competitive’ game.

“It’s another opportunity for us to see where we are against a decent side. They had a positive result away from home after going one down, so they’ll be buoyant.

“It’s a quick turnaround, but it’s the same for them, and it gives us a good opportunity to get three points on the board.”

Speaking about coming up against the often-animated Steve Evans in the opposition technical area, he told us: “I don’t mind playing against Steve. I like him because he’s passionate about the game, and I’m the same. He likes to win, and he does what he can to get results.

“The Mansfield staff shout for everything from the dugout and it can seem that sometimes they do intimidate officials. I know that myself, Lee Dykes and Dan Watson will be at it as well. I don’t know who the fourth official is yet, but I hope he got a set of earmuffs for Christmas!”

With midfielder Luke Joyce the only new injury concern, other than the long-term absentees, he said: “Luke won’t make it for Monday. I’m sending him scouting for us at the Sheffield Wednesday and Burton game.

“It’s a good opportunity for him to get a player’s view of the opposition and it’s good for his development as well. I’ll have another scout there as well, but we’ll sit down with Luke and see what he made of their patterns of play, and things like that.

“Luke still isn’t field-based training yet, so he’ll be touch and go for playing in the FA Cup game next weekend. We’ll just have to wait and see with that.”

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