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MANAGER: We go in a positive frame of mind

Keith Curle looks ahead to the trip to Crawley

29 September 2017

Manager Keith Curle spoke to us ahead of this weekend’s trip to the Checkatrade Stadium to face Crawley Town.

“They’ve been on a little bit of an inconsistent run but you’re going to get teams in this division who will suffer back-to-back defeats, because that’s the nature of League Two,” he said. “Some of the teams we’ve talked about as having had a great start to the season have suffered that, and that’s when doubts can creep in.

“All you can do when that happens is keep the belief in what you’re doing and make sure you do the simple things well, over and over again.”

“We’ve watched Crawley and they're a good side,” he added. “They’ll probably argue that a few of their defeats should have been draws, at the very least, and they have a crop of players who can put you under pressure if you allow them to.

“It’s another stadium where the fans get vocal if their players are building up a head of steam, but we go there knowing that if we play to our strengths we can cause them a number of problems in different ways.

“Team selection wise we’ll go with what we feel will be our best eleven within the most suitable formation to do us a job. We saw against Stevenage that we got some good quality into dangerous areas, but we didn’t get anyone on the end of them.

“That means our attention to detail needs to improve but the willingness is there, and that’s important. The players want to put on another good performance because they want to be climbing the table. The focus is on us all a little bit at the moment but we have to deal with that and get people smiling again by doing our jobs.”

On lifting the group following Tuesday night’s result, he commented: “The disappointment doesn’t go away because I think everybody within the football department was of the same mindset.

“There were a lot of positives to take out of the Crewe game and we wanted to take the good habits and replicate them in the game on Tuesday. In the end there was nothing in the game, apart from a couple of errors that cost us on the night.

“Did we cause them enough problems? I think we got a bit of momentum up and caused them problems in the latter stages. I thought we were comfortable in possession and we could see the plan from them was to flood the midfield area, even to the extent of getting their two centre forwards back as often as possible to get in there as well.”

“We had a good idea of what they were going to do and it gave us territorial advantage and dominance on the ball, but we still need to improve in the final third going forward from here,” he continued. “We did get some good balls into the box but we just didn’t get people onto the end of them enough. There are things there for us to work on and we all have to accept the criticism we’re getting until we get it right.

“There’s a real desire within this group to carry on with the way we did things for most of the game at Crewe and to turn on the good performances at home. I know results will come.

“We haven’t yet got the fluidity in our play that we’re looking for and we’re still looking for that missing ingredient. The fewer mistakes we make individually and collectively will allow us to express ourselves and we know we then have enough about us to go and win games.

“Players who make mistakes will learn from them and we know that if our players do the simple things repeatedly well it will give us a stepping stone and a platform from where we can then build a performance.”

“There’s an element of us still looking for individual and collective consistency but you find that when you do get a bit of momentum you start winning games,” he said. “Collectively it becomes very simple because you tend to find that you can almost do anything when you’re in a winning team.

“What we’re doing at the moment to get back to those levels is simplifying everything we do. From there the confidence and performances will come.”

“The pleasing thing is that we aren’t being cut open, dismantled or played through by teams,” he commented. “Yes, we’ve had occasions when we’ve lost games in a way I don’t like, but we’re working hard to get rid of that.

“We’re making errors at silly stages in games and it’s costing us. The more performers within the team who do the simple things well, the more enjoyable the results will be. That’s also when we’ll be giving the fans what they want.

“A massive factor for me on Tuesday night was the home fans stayed with us and they applauded the players. That type of support is pleasing and it shows the unity we’re trying to build here.”

On the grumbles from the terraces as the team looks for a run of positive results, he said: “We totally understand it and it isn’t just Carlisle United fans. In general you get people who pay their money and who have a moan if things aren’t right, but that’s part and parcel of football. Some of things shouted out are noteworthy and worth listening to, so I have no issue with that.

“The lads in the changing room know they’re better than the current league position but they also know they have to show people that’s the case. The appetite for work and challenges is excellent and I know they are doing everything they can to get wins on a more consistent basis, because that’s what their game is all about.”

Click HERE to watch an interview with Keith Curle on iFollow United now.   

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