Keith Curle with an injury and Plymouth preparation updateThe United first team squad is currently based in Bristol as part of the ongoing preparations for Saturday’s away fixture at Home Park, home of fellow League Two promotion chasers Plymouth Argyle.
The squad started this week’s travels with the journey to a hotel in Cheltenham on Tuesday morning, ahead of the evening away game at the LCI Rail Stadium, and made the relatively short switch to Bristol early on Wednesday afternoon where they will train for two days before moving to their base in Plymouth on Friday ahead of this weekend’s big fixture.
Hand-in-hand with the organisation and finalisation of the finer details to make an extended trip like this work comes the obvious financial cost associated with keeping 28 people [including the coach driver] fed and housed for the duration of the five-day excursion.
And manager Keith Curle was quick to deal out the thank you's after receiving a ‘fantastic response’ when he raised the possibility of using this week as an opportunity to pull the squad together at a remote location at this crucial stage of the season.
“We’re able to stay down here [this week] because Andrew Jenkins, John Nixon and Steven Pattison have paid for the trip out of their own pockets,” he said. “That means it isn’t coming out of the club’s coffers, it’s directly from the owners.
“I looked at how I thought it would be best for us to prepare for what would otherwise have been two long away trips so I went and asked them personally if they could help. I’ve got to say - it was a fantastic response.
“They told me to pick the hotel and whatever it was I felt I needed to make the trip work, and they told me they would fund it as owners of the club. This shows the level of support I get from them.”
“We have a budget set aside at the beginning of the year for overnight accommodation, so if something extra comes up, like the requirement to stay away for these two fixtures, it has to be funded.
“People don’t always hear about things like this but I hope it does get mentioned because I certainly appreciate it. We have time together now to prepare properly ahead of the Plymouth game.
“I think the club have done an excellent thing in giving us the opportunity to do this correctly. We’ll take full advantage of that and the time we spend together will be for training, analysing and formulating a plan for how we’re going to move forward from where we are now.”
Meanwhile the manager also confirmed that recent injuries picked up by defender Michael Raynes [calf] and striker Shaun Miller [knee] will see them sidelined as they begin their rehabilitation programmes with the club’s medical staff.
“Fortune hasn’t gone our way over the last few months because we’ve lost some big players at times when we’ve been getting others back,” Curle told us. “It’s been one in - one out, and that’s frustrating.
“We got Mike Jones back and then Jason Kennedy was ruled out. We now have Danny Grainger back and Michael Raynes has had to drop out.
“We’re looking at three to four weeks for Shaun and Michael. That gives us another challenge to face - but we’ll be facing it head on. It’s a small squad but we still think we’ll be able to compete.”
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