We spoke to manager Keith Curle to get more reaction to Saturday’s thumping away victory at Crewe.
“When you keep a clean sheet and score five goals away from home you can’t ask for much more than that,” he said. “It’s even more pleasing because it took us a while to get used to the new shape we wanted to play. You can do work on the training ground and give the players different scenarios, but we knew Crewe’s movement and rotation in their play would be good.
“We dealt with that and we went on to play our own game. We needed the win and it will be a big boost for the confidence within the group. Throughout this difficult run the changing room has stayed solid and kept the belief in how we want to do things.
“People will now be saying that I’ve got to play the same team on Tuesday night, but that won’t be decided until I’ve watched Stevenage. There are some players who have put a real shift in and there are others who I know can do a job, depending on the system we play.
“The players are aware of that so they know they’ve got to give themselves the best opportunity. The can enjoy the result but they’ve got to prepare and turn up in the right frame of mind for the training session on Monday.”
Speaking about the impact made by new signing Clint Hill, he said: “It was a big game for him because he was well aware that the lads needed a lift. He’s the type of player we need because he’s somebody who has been there and done it.
“Good players, and those who have played at a higher level, are able to do the simple things over and over again. He’s mastered the art of that. He’s an organiser and he likes to see other people doing their jobs.
“If he’d been playing for QPR this weekend his mental and physical approach would have been exactly the same as it was when he was playing against Crewe for us. He has fitted in well and he’s on board quickly with where we want to go.”
When quizzed about his choice for man-of-the-match on Saturday, he said: “There were some very good individual performances but the most important thing was that we got a very good team display.
“Mike Jones was excellent for us. He picked up so many second balls it meant they couldn’t get any momentum going at all. It got us playing and part of that was making sure that Shamal George got as much height on his kicks as possible so that Michael Raynes couldn’t just head them all down or away to safety.
“Kicks into the opposition half are food and drink for Raynesy so Shamal did his bit and Mike Jones was there for every second ball. He was my man of the match. Working off him we had Nicky Adams, Reggie Lambe and Luke Joyce who were looking to get into the box and support Shaun Miller.
“It all worked exactly as we talked about and the players should take full credit for that.”
On the absence of Jason Kennedy, he said: “He was rested today. At the moment I feel that Jason is only able to operate in games at something like 70% and the reaction to playing in games can then sometimes mean he’s only training at 60%.
“Rest is as important as your work in football. The work Jason has been putting in has taken its toll whereby he couldn’t train in the way he wants to train. He’s a very honest lad so I told him to have the weekend off because he’ll feel better when he has the rest.
“Jason wants to train every minute of every day and he’s desperate to be involved in the group. Sometimes you have to be professional and take a step back so that you can get back to where you need to be. It’s difficult but you’ve got to do it.”
And on the fifth goal, bagged by striker Hallam Hope, he told us: “As soon as he scored he wanted to go and celebrate with our fans. He’s a lad who will take the sarcasm and the little bit of stick he got.
“However, he is low on confidence and he really wants to do well for himself, the club and the supporters. He knows the only way he can get people on board is to work hard and get his goals. All I’m asking is that you give us all a chance.”
Click HERE to watch an interview with Keith Curle on iFollow United now.