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MANAGER: The next challenge is to make it four-in-a-row

Keith Curle with his reaction to the Yeovil away victory

25 February 2018

United made it three league wins in a row on Saturday afternoon courtesy of a fantastic second half strike from Hallam Hope which cut the gap to the play-off places to six points as the Blues now prepare for the visit of Grimsby Town at the weekend.

We spoke to manager Keith Curle at full time to get his reaction to the victory.

“I thought the better opportunities probably fell to us over the 90 minutes,” he said. “They had a couple of scrambles in our box but you’re always going to get that. I’d say the pitch was arguably a leveller that made things a little bit more fraught than you would want it to be.

“It was never going to be a day for passing the ball or for trying to control it. The surface was very bobbly and we had to adapt to the conditions. It was never going to be a game for the purist. You need to be assured in your decision making in conditions like this and I thought we played the game in the right areas.

“We got caught a couple of times through poor decision making, but overall it was a solid performance from the keeper and his back four. They had a couple of skirmishes but you’re always going to get that.

“This is a difficult place to come anyway and Darren Way and his team are very competitive. They’ve had some good results so you have to come here ready to compete.”

On the doubt of the game being able to go ahead, he explained: “I got a call from our club secretary saying that Yeovil had some concerns about the pitch.

“They felt they’d done everything they could with the frost covers and the heaters, so credit goes to the ground staff for being able to get the pitch to the best condition it could be. As the game played out I don’t think it had any impact.

“It became another mental challenge the players had to deal with because it plants the thought that you’re already here, but they’re going to have to come back again. The good thing about that changing room is that there’s a real focus about them, so they tend to just get on with things.”

Having made it three-in-a-row he told us: “I’m very pleased with the results. We’re in a results industry and that’s why a big part of my job is keeping the players focused on the job in hand.

“I thought we showed that we had slightly more of a cutting edge in the first half, so I wasn’t too concerned that we hadn’t taken our chances. I thought Hallam was going to be a threat to them all day, so we just had to keep getting the ball to him in the right areas.

“If he keeps running at you inside the box something is going to happen. The lad is on fire at the moment because he’s playing with confidence. The players have confidence in him as well and that’s why they just want to keep giving him the ball.”

“We also had a good performance from Cole Stockton and Richie Bennett up front,” he added. “They gave us something to build off. It’s vitally important when you’re away from home that you get a foothold in the game.

“Our strikers did that and they started the game very well for us. It gives the players the confidence to put the ball forward with quality.

“The finish from Hallam is what you expect from him and he has a habit of doing that. If you show him inside he’ll have a look, and if you show him too much he’ll bend the ball into the far corner.”

With nine points from a possible nine already stashed away, next up for the Blues is the visit of Grimsby Town on Saturday.

“There are other distractions going on around the football club, but my job stays the same,” he commented. “I need to get points, win games and keep an eye on the distractions to make sure they don’t filter through any deeper than me.

“My focus definitely won’t be affected by anything because I’m here to improve the football and win games, be that for three months, three weeks or three days.

“The next challenge is to get home next week and make it four-in-a-row. The players will get two days of rest and recuperation and then they’ll be back at it.

“Nobody knows what the team is going to be for next week and that shows we have a very competitive squad.”

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

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