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MANAGER: Phenomenal that nearly 700 were there

4 February 2017

Keith Curle with his reaction to the Leyton Orient victory

Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the away victory at Leyton Orient shortly after full time on Saturday afternoon.

“The important thing was that we got the level of performance right at the same time as introducing new players into the squad,” he said. “We’ve had a short space of time to get them used to us, but it shows the quality of the players we’ve brought in because they’ve been able to pick it up quickly.

“We’re here to win football matches, but through the run of games we’ve had with no victories we’ve kept our belief and we’ve stayed together. We’ve only been beaten three times in the league so far this season and that’s a massive achievement. Everything won’t always go our way, but we’ll keep working hard to shorten the odds in our favour.”

“As a squad I thought we came together and showed the unity which allows us to try different formations and approaches,” he added. “Part of that togetherness is what our fans are doing for us, and it’s phenomenal that we had nearly 700 here today.

“I did something slightly different before kick off in that I went over to watch our lads warming up without them knowing I was there. I took a seat with our fans to do that, and that allowed me to see that the focus and attention to detail was there as they went through their preparations.

“It also gave me the chance to meet some friendly faces and, as the manager of the club, the fact that people are so keen to engage with me that tells me I’m doing things right. That’s vitally important.”

On the goals which won the game, he said: “George [Waring] will quickly get used to that sort of delivery into the box from our creative players. He’ll be a difficult character to mark when he’s on the end of them because of his stature and movement.

“With him and Jamie Proctor we’ve added different skills to our armoury and we’ll become more and more difficult to deal with. Jamie was on hand to finish off a loose ball and that’s exactly what Gary Liddle had done in the first half.

“Both players earned the right to score and we need that. We need people to gamble and to follow the play. Gary is the type of lad who will just get on with the job and he’ll contribute and give everything, whatever position we play him in.”

“The sending off was disappointing,” he admitted. “In my mind I think the first booking for Jamie Proctor just wasn’t one. There was a tackle by their lad Hunt in front of me, which brought nothing at all, and if that wasn’t a booking then nothing is.

“Jamie is a committed player and if you’re going into a challenge you’ve got every right to go into it with a level of commitment. I don’t think he went in two-footed and he has purely gone for the ball, but there’s nothing we can do about it now. It’s harsh on the lad but he’ll come back even more determined to add to what he did today.

“As well as those two, John O’Sullivan showed us a real willingness to work and his positional play was excellent. He gave us width and dynamics when we switched to a flat four in midfield, and we had a glimpse at what James Bailey will bring for us as well when we brought him on.

“We’ve also got Mike Jones back and his work ethic while he’s been injured has been second to none. He’s been chomping at the bit and that 15 minutes or so will have helped him. We can build on that now and he’ll be back up to speed quickly.”

Having already used the free agent market to sign James Bailey this week, he confirmed that he will be looking again to see if he can make more additions to the squad.

“I’ll be speaking to my staff and my head of recruitment Lee [Dykes] to see what the situation is with those targets we identified as being potentially good additions to the squad,” he commented. “We don’t have open trials; we invite people to the club to give them a chance to show us what they can do.

“It’s very important that when these players do come in they know they can express themselves. It’s possible that one or two will be used in a bounce game against Burnley on Tuesday, but we could see some others we want to have a look at as well.”

His final word was on the news that an official approach had been made for his services by an as yet unnamed club just over three weeks ago.

“There was an official approach made to the club and, as is right and proper, they informed me of that approach,” he confirmed. “There’s a clause in my contract which allows me to go and talk to them, if I decide I want to, as long as I let my parent club know I’m doing it.

“In this particular situation I spoke to Andrew Jenkins, John Nixon and Nigel Clibbens and I told them that I want to stay here. We’ve started something, we’re creating something, and I think we need to see it through.”

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