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MANAGER: This is where we find out what we're made of

5 March 2017

Keith Curle with his reaction to the Plymouth away game

Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the Plymouth away game shortly after full time on Saturday afternoon.

“It was a very even game with very little in it, apart from the decision making which cost us two goals,” he said. “If we’re going to go on and do what we want to do then we have got to cut this out.

“The wrong decisions we’re making are blatantly obvious and that’s why we know we can work on them. People will talk about refereeing decisions, and things like that, but it isn’t all down to that. Yes, they play their part, but we were undone today because of our decision making processes.”

“At the moment we’re being punished collectively as a club for silly mistakes,” he continued. “We need accountability and we need people to do their jobs well. If errors are made we get punished, so if you keep making errors you don’t play – it’s really that simple.

“I’m not a character who feels sorry for himself because I know I get everything I earn. Where we finish at the end of the season, we’ll have earned. There will be ups and downs and we’re having a horrible rough period now. This is where we find out exactly what we’re made of because the players still have to play and perform.

“There’s still belief in the changing room and I don’t care what anyone says, you will not take the honesty out of the group. That’s a building block we have in there and this is a challenge for us now because we’re on a downslide which we need to change. I’m relishing the challenge we face.

“It’s my job to turn this round. I know exactly what my job is and part of that is to keep the players believing in what we’re trying to do. The mistakes aren’t there because we have bad players, but they’re obvious ones we need to get rid of.”

Speaking about the mistake which led to the first goal of the game, he said: “You will not find a better character who puts on a Carlisle shirt. The lad made a mistake and I’m not going to vilify him for it.

“I took him off because it had affected him, but that’s nothing personal. I’ve got a lot of time for him as a character and I’ve got even more time for him as a professional. He’ll learn from this. I have to consider that if it affects his play it’s going to have a detrimental impact on everyone. We needed to replace him with a different mindset and that’s not victimising him in any way, shape or form. He’s bitterly disappointed, but he’ll get over it.

“With the penalty, if that challenge was anywhere else on the field it wouldn’t have been given. Shaun [Brisley] says he made first contact with the ball during the challenge. The player went down very easily saying he’d been elbowed, but I didn’t see it like that.

“I went to ask the referee about it at half time, without adopting an aggressive attitude, if he was 100% happy that it was a penalty. He said there was contact in the box. In my opinion there wasn’t enough contact.”

And the United boss was also left feeling confused about the decision which saw a great finish from Reggie Lambe ruled out when an offside flag went up to cut short the celebrations.

“The explanation I got from the officials was as clear as mud,” he commented. “We started the game very well and it’s difficult for us to say whether or not the goal was offside. I spoke to the fourth official and the feedback I got was that Reggie was offside at some point in the build up to it. The obvious question from that is to ask if he was offside when the ball got played into the box. He couldn’t give me an answer.

“We went into the break two goals down and we were thinking that we didn’t deserve that. The challenge to the changing room during the break was to find out what they’re about. We changed the shape slightly to play two up top and we had a couple of opportunities where we opened them up. Some of the balls into the box were good.

“Likewise they didn’t open us up at any point during the game, but we’d given then a two goal start. Footballing wise there was nothing in the game.”

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