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MANAGER: We have to find the mentality to kill games off

Keith Curle with more reaction from the weekend

5 February 2018

United boss Keith Curle insisted that he’ll be making sure his players focus on the positives leading up to next weekend’s home game against Colchester with plenty to take from the disappointing result at Adams Park on Saturday.

“There was a strength of character shown to turn the game round because the lads saw the second half as a challenge,” he said. “The goals we scored were very good, but we missed a couple of chances which could have made life easier.

“We’ve spoken to the players about the fact they did exceptionally well to get ahead, from being two goals down, but we have to find out if there’s enough of a mentality now to kill games off. You only do that by having good habits and a good understanding of the game.”

“I thought the new arrivals who featured added to the group,” he continued. “Jamal Campbell-Ryce came on and he settled us down and got us going.

“He gave us a rhythm to our play and our first goal came from a quality ball into the box from him. The balls we delivered prior to that were hitting the first man. That shows that when you find a bit of quality it causes problems.”

“Cole Stockton’s goal was excellent,” he said. “He’d earned it because his work rate was exceptional. It’s a typical Cole Stockton goal. It was a great header with good control from a very good delivery.

“Kris Twardek is quick and lively and he also likes to be doing his work in the final third. He’s shown already that he can be a thorn in the side and I still think there’s more to come from all of these lads, as well as those who are yet to make their first appearances.”

“Obviously along with the positives we’ll be looking at where we can be better,” he commented. “When we’re getting balls and free kicks sent into our box we’re then looking for how many people want to go and defend it.

“How many people are prepared to mark their man and block the threat at all costs? That’s something we still need to work on because it’s that attitude to maintaining the solidity that will get us winning positions we can hold on to.  

“You have to know that when you’re defending a lead it has to be defended with your professional life. When they equalised, that was an example of when we were poking and prodding and trying to nick a ball rather than being defence minded and trying to get behind the attackers to close things down.

“Poor defending at the back stick allowed the little lad to get in and get his contact. With the set piece, it was a very cheap free kick to give away, and then we committed the sin of not defending it.

“If you limit their ability to put balls into the box you take away a large part of their attacking threat.

“These are all lessons to be learned and we’ll do our work to make sure we do our work this week so that we go into the Colchester game in a very positive frame of mind.”

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