Manager Keith Curle spoke to us ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Yeovil Town at his Friday afternoon press conference.
“The squad is in very good shape,” he said. “We have a clean bill of health from Wednesday’s game and the lads who haven’t been playing will be feeling the benefit of the game time they were given.
“We’re almost at the point where we have a full complement of players to choose from so there are going to be some very disappointed players who don’t even make the 18. There’ll also be disappointment for those who don’t make the starting eleven.
“That’s when the squad has to understand why we’re doing what we’re doing, and the pleasing thing is that we have that here with this group. They know it’s about achieving success together and they use their disappointment to help their team mates as much as they can.
“We don’t need to rest players at this stage of the season. I pick teams based on who I think will get us the result we all want. As soon as the selection is made the focus is then on doing everything we can to make sure the eleven perform.
“If any player isn’t selected it doesn’t suddenly mean there’s a rift or that he’s been dropped. It’s simply down to who I think will win us the game within the game plan we have. I know that within my armoury I have 23 or 24 professional players who could quite easily be involved. That’s a good place to be for any manager.”
On what we can expect from the visitors, he said: “The result they had in the FA Cup last Saturday will have given them confidence. They haven’t had the best run of results away from home, but I think they’re a dangerous animal.
“I’ve watched their game against Southend and they looked sharp and dangerous. They have good enthusiasm and energy in their approach and they had good aggression when defending their lead. They’re a threat when they’re confident, so we need to be ready to deal with that.”
You could look at the loss of their two forward players as a weakness, but they have players who can step up and fill in,” he added. “They have rotation in midfield areas when they have possession so we’re going to have to try to keep the ball for as long as possible and look to impose our game on them.
“I think it’s a game to look forward because both managers want their team to get forward as much as possible. Within that you want to defend properly, but you also want to be keeping your opponents busy in their defensive third.”
The visit of Yeovil Town brings back a familiar face as James Bailey returns to Brunton Park for the first time since his summer departure.
“There certainly isn’t any suggestion that there was a falling out, or anything like that,” the manager commented. “We made James an offer, he made a counter-offer, and we found that we couldn’t agree.
“We knew that meant we ran the risk of him being made offers elsewhere, but he was well within his rights to listen to those when they came along.
“He’s a player I like. I like him as a professional and as a person and he has very good attributes. He’s doing very well for Yeovil, he’s their captain, and it’s good that he’s showing everybody what he’s about.”
Speaking about the search for consistency in results, he said: “We aren’t happy with where we are in the league because we feel we could potentially be six or seven places higher.
“However, it’s a long season and not a sprint, and we’re hoping to use our result from last weekend to help us to gain momentum. “We know that we’re good enough to give anybody in this division a game on our day, and that’s why our mindset doesn’t change.
“We’re hoping the fans will come along at what is a busy time of year. One thing football clubs don’t want through this period is a bank of home games.
“People are already looking towards Christmas, and on making it is good as they can for their families, so within that there’s a level of appreciation and understanding from us that the supporters are making a sacrifice when they come to watch us.”
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