United boss Keith Curle spoke more about the importance of getting first contact in attacking positions following Monday afternoon’s home game with Lincoln City.
“As I said at the post-match press conference, it was a very competitive game and it was one where you weren’t going to get golden opportunities laid on for you,” he said. “You have to make your chances when it’s tight like that by being instinctive in your play and by making sure you get first contact.
“When we did get contact we saw Tom Parkes had a great chance with a header, in the middle of the goal, but he said he was being pulled back at the time. On another occasion another referee would have given something for that pull.
“The Richie Bennett chance was arguably the best opportunity in the game for both teams. They had one, which they took, and that was ours, which we obviously didn’t put away.
“Within that it was a very close game between two teams who are at the right end of the table.”
On the mood in the camp, he commented: “It was a deflated changing room after the game on Monday, but I know it’s a committed changing room as well. As a group we’re still learning and developing and sometimes you learn more about people after a defeat.
“This group has faced challenges before, and the challenge ahead is to win four of the five remaining games. That was the target before Monday’s game and it hasn’t changed. There will still be twists and turns in the next few weeks and we have a great opportunity to put this defeat behind us by getting on another run.
“The pleasing thing is that we have players who want to perform for this football club and the character we’re seeing from them is to be applauded. They’re giving us committed performances week in and week out and I know they’ll continue to do that.
“Over the undefeated run we’ve had we’ve shown an ability to force opportunities and chances. We’ve been playing the game in the right areas and that also isn’t going to change. Our forward players are developing very quickly and they all want to do well for this team.”
“As a footballing department we’ve given this football club a structure and platform to build from, and if you look at the top of the table now you see teams who have taken two or three years to put their structures in place,” he concluded.
“That wasn’t there when I first came in, but we’ve worked at it and we’re now showing a good backbone and spine. On our day we can beat anybody, so this week is about how we handle disappointment. How we improve following this defeat is what matters now.”
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