Manager Keith Curle spoke to us about the weekend trip with the Blue Army expected to be around 2,000 strong come kick off time at the Globe on Saturday afternoon.
“It’s another big game and another opportunity for us to go and perform in front of a large travelling support,” he said. “The ticket sales are at something like 1,800 for us at the moment and that’s phenomenal for a League Two club.
“It’s excellent to have that many with us and a massive boost for the team and playing squad. The lads will go out to perform knowing they’ve got that loyal support and buoyancy behind them.
“If we go to Morecambe and get the result I want everybody to share it and feel part of this football club. If results don’t go our way, I will take it all on board and carry the weight of disappointment from everyone who supports Carlisle United. Put it on me and I’ll turn negatives into positives because that’s what I do.”
“It’s a local derby, we have players who have played for them, and who enjoy playing against them, and it’s one both teams will want to win,” he continued. “They’re at the wrong end of the table for where they want to be and we’re striving to get into the play-offs.
“Jim [Bentley] has done very well as a manager. As a person he’s somebody I have a lot of respect and time for and I like his personality. I’ve known him from when he was a YTS at Man City as he was forging a career. I think he goes into every week as the underdog, but as a team and football club they have unity and they work together.
“Past results have no bearing at all on what happens on the day and it’ll come down to us playing with pride and passion. Obviously we want to play attacking football and to get goals, but within that we need to be resilient and we need to have a backbone. We want the goals, but we want clean sheets and we want to be competitive.
“We know we’ll have that big following who will make it feel like a home game for us. I went to watch Morecambe play Chesterfield on Tuesday night, and I’m not sure what the attendance was, but I think we’ll probably outnumber their supporters. We will also outshout them because our support is excellent.
“Their backing will motivate us even more. But I’ve said to group, no matter who you are, to be in this changing room is a very privileged position, because they get to wear the shirt and represent this football club.
“That brings a responsibility, because you can’t hide on the pitch. Likewise, I won’t hide in the technical area, I won’t sit down, I want to help get information onto the pitch to make sure that the people wearing the shirt give it their best.”
On coping with the added pressures the final month of the season always brings, he told us: “We’re a very focused group and, yes, some of the results haven’t gone our way, but there’s a real desire to be successful. That’s how it’s been from the outset because it’s a changing room that wants to achieve.
“Demands are put on people because we want to be better. When things aren’t going well the pleasing thing is that the players don’t give up. I’ve said it before, but that’s a good thing for us to have.
“We’re in a situation where there has been and there will continue to be distractions. The way the football department has conducted itself through that has been pleasing. It isn’t easy to deal with some of the distractions, on occasions, but I’ve been helped with that by the response I’ve had from the players.
“The way I do things is that I don’t hide away from any issues. We talk about them and we discuss the direct impact it has on the individuals within that changing room. The important role I have is that I’m able to talk and help steer people in the right direction, and ultimately it comes down to me making sure they maintain their focus.
“One thing that doesn’t change is that when a player puts a shirt on he’s representing himself and this football club. Once that shirt is on, there’s no hiding place. The players are handling that and they’re showing good character. That’s why it’s still an enjoyable environment to work in.”
“We know we need to win the last four games, which does help, and we know it’s all still to play for” he commented. “I’ve encouraged the players to bring any moans or whispers to me, before we train today, so I can answer them honestly.
“There are some things that happen, and which are said which I can’t affect, but I deal with the aftermath and answer the questions as honestly as I can. Sometimes players don’t want honest answers, but they know if they ask me a question they’ll get that honest answer.
“It’s the same with our fans. When things go well I want everybody to have that glow and the feeling of belonging to this football club. When things aren’t going well, when results aren’t going our way, or if there’s bird poo on your seat or no toilet roll, bring it to me.
“I’ll be in that technical area and I won’t hide away from anybody. When things go well, I’m a sharer because I want everybody to feel so proud of this football club. When things go wrong I’ll be the one to stand up and take the criticism and the questions.”
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