Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the Stevenage home defeat shortly after full time on Tuesday night.
“The way we lost is the most disappointing thing,” he said. “It isn’t the case that we were ripped open or outplayed. Two howlers cost us and we have a very disappointed dressing room in there.
“We also have a very disappointed young man who knows he hasn’t been beaten in the top corner or by someone going around him and dumping him on the floor. He made two very basic errors and the next stage of his development is to learn from them and push on.
“He now has to show the strength of character and mentality to come through it. This is the reality because it isn’t under-23 football for Liverpool in front of 100 people. These are games where the decisions you make matter.”
On how he now begins the process of getting over the errors so that he’s ready for the next challenge, he said: “The first thing he must come to terms with is that, other than the two errors, there was very little in that game. Chances created by them other than that were pretty much non-existent.
“He’s here to learn his trade and one of the things we’ve repeatedly been saying to him is that he needs to respect the simple saves and do the simple things repeatedly. The world class saves and headline moments will come along from that.
“He knows that all he was asked to do was catch a ball and what we know is that 99 times out of 100 he’s going to catch both of them. He’ll be going home feeling terrible. He won’t be able to believe what’s happened to him. What we won’t do is throw him under the bus.
“I know that ultimately I’m accountable, it’s my responsibility, but I know everyone in this building is working hard to improve. It’s a learning curve for the lad and he will learn from it. He’s disappointed and gutted because he knows he’s made mistakes. What matters now is that he reacts properly and comes back ready to go again.”
“He’s a young professional and he’s disappointed,” he continued. “He knows he’s cost us the game. That’s why you go out and repeatedly work on the simple things that will make you better. That’s how you build a career.
“He’ll have to deal with the criticism that comes his way. It’s very difficult to protect him because he’s fumbled one that he caught and he took his eye off the ball for the second one through a lack of concentration, or whatever it was. He knows he needs to learn from it.
“What I will say is that we’re all going to make mistakes in life, on the pitch and in other situations. If someone can show me the queue of people who have never, ever made mistakes in life then I’d like to join it because I know I’ve made a few. Some of them were howlers as well, on and off the pitch.
“If someone makes an honest mistake we don’t chastise or criticise. We just make sure we learn. How we recover defines how far we go. Football is a simple game and good players do things well repeatedly. It becomes the whole basis of their careers. With keepers, it isn’t the world class saves that make them, it’s the little things they do well over and over again. That’s what makes them stand out.”
And on making sure the group picks itself up following the disappointing result, he commented: “The good performances are coming. We don’t have to go and reinvent the wheel. We just need to keep playing the way we know we want to play. The more we do the simple things the more the form will come.
“The fans stayed and clapped because they know there was nothing in the game. It’s a massive thanks to them for the way they stuck with us. Once we go on a run of winning games it won’t suddenly be a magic formula. It will be because we have players doing the simple things well.”
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