Keith Curle ahead of the Cambridge gameManager Keith Curle spoke to us ahead of the visit of Cambridge on Saturday as his side looks to get back to winning ways.
“Every club looks to entertain and get points on the board in front of their own fans,” he said. “With the amount of travelling that goes in to our away games you basically lose a day with the recovery you have to do.
“A home game means you get that extra day with the players and we’re coming in to what I would say are eleven cup finals. Form goes out the window but we’re in a very competitive position with points to play for. It’s all about results from here onwards.
“Obviously we’re disappointed to come back from two long away trips with nothing. What we can say is that we were looked after really well by the club and it was an investment which gave us the opportunity to perform.
“It was an indication of a massive change in attitude within the club because it now isn’t purely down to cost. There is value thrown into it as well, and the way the players were looked after was Championship standard. The owners need to take a lot of credit for that.
“People talk about pressure now that we’ve dropped out of the top three but I still think we’re on course to have a very successful season. Whether it ends up with automatic promotion or play-offs, it’s still been very successful.
“When it comes to pressure, I put pressure on myself every single day that I come to work. I thrive on that and I want a pressurised environment whereby players know they have to perform whether it’s in training or out on the pitch.”
“The work we’re doing now is to make sure we win games because we know there will be more victories to come,” he commented. “I like being in a charge of a team that scores goals and which has a forward thinking mentality, but we also want to try to keep things tight at the back.
“Within that we know we need to stop making the mistakes which have cost us recently. What we are going to do is continue to try to play an open and expansive game and it’s down to the players to assess the risks and then make good decisions at the right times.”
“There’s a good vibrancy about the group and the pleasing thing is we don’t just get that when we’re winning games,” he told us. “As a changing room and a football department, we’re all on the bus.
“I’ve heard today that banners have appeared around town, and I’ve been told what was on them, but I’m here to get points, as I have been from day one. The politics will continue to go on but my job is to maintain a winning formula.
“For me to be able to do my job I need to have the support of the players and the fans, which is vitally important, but I have to say that the backing I’ve had as a manager and as an individual from Andrew Jenkins, John Nixon and Steven Pattison has been exemplary.
“The good thing is that the supporters believe that the changes we’ve made and the environment we’re trying to create is going to see us bring success to the football club. I think they’re enjoying their football and hopefully they’re enjoying their team and their manager.”
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s game against Cambridge, he said: “They didn’t start the season how they wanted to but they rode that out and they got a good bank of results which took them into the top half of the table.
“Their aspiration now will be to finish in a play-off place and that is well within their reach. They have some good players and a strong work ethic and we have a good idea about how they will play.
“I know Shaun [Derry] well because we signed him for Crystal Palace and QPR. He had a very distinguished playing career and he’s starting off with his managerial career now. He’ll have his team well drilled and we’ll have to be on it from the moment we kick off.
“As ever, it’s about what we do. I expect them to come to try to keep the game quiet so that we don’t give our fans anything to shout about. They’ll hope they can turn the supporters on the team to make it an awkward environment, so this is where they can play their part. Back us for 95 minutes on Saturday and we’ll give you the result your support deserves.”
Speaking about the injuries to Shaun Miller, Michael Raynes and Jason Kennedy, he said: “Jason is field based, Shaun is fit and available and Michael is field based and will be training next week. They’re all on the mend, which is really good, because that adds more skill sets to the group.”