United boss Keith Curle spoke to us ahead of tomorrow’s away game against Exeter City as he looks to continue the recent good run which has seen the club rise to within touching distance of the play-off places.
“The important thing with the long journeys is that we get the mindset right,” he said. “You get teams who once a year have to jump on a coach and come to Carlisle, and you find there’s a negative approach to the distance they have to travel straight away.
“We’re used to it. It’s what we have to do every week, in the most part, and we see it as another challenge. We do everything properly, so we get down there early, get the journey out of the legs, and then we train on the Friday afternoon.”
“Obviously we go there feeling confident with the run we’ve been on,” he told us. “The important thing from it is that we’ve been able to grind results out the ugly way. That shows character.
“There’s a good mentality and attitude about the players and they’re working hard to make sure they get and maintain footholds in games. We’re at a point where we don’t fear anybody in this division. Every game is seen as an opportunity to pick up points.
“We still feel we’re owed a few points, because things didn’t go our way earlier in the season, but we have to earn whatever luck or bounces of the ball come our way going forward from here.”
On what we can expect from this weekend’s opponents, he said: “In a very similar way to ourselves, I think they’re able to win games in a number of different ways.
“They won’t know what our starting line up or formation will be and that’s full credit to our changing room, because we have a number of players who could start at any given time. We can change our approach within games, as we did at Barnet, and that’s because we’re in a very good place with our squad.
“Exeter are another group with good ethics, and fair play to Paul [Tisdale] because he has galvanised that football club. They’re enjoying an upward spiral and this is two teams going into a game who are looking to finish the season on a high.
“Both managers have a level of respect for each other and I think we both enjoy putting our teams up against each other. There are aspects of the way Exeter do things that I appreciate and enjoy. I know there are things Paul likes about the way we go about our business as well.”
“It’s always a game where you expect goals,” he commented. “There are good passages of play and we can point to mistakes or errors which have seen the game swing in balance from one team to the other.
“For us this season we’re in the chasing pack and that’s a good place to be. I went to the Mansfield - Lincoln game the other night and you can tell that nerves are starting to come into things.
“The crowd was anxious and sometimes you can find that it’s easier to pick up points against teams at the top of the division because of that level of anxiety. What you have to do is make sure you’re in a position to capitalise and turn the game in your favour.”
“I think we’ll find that they’ve changed their style of play slightly,” he added. “They’ve gone a little bit more direct and having Stockley up front gives them something to build off. On top of that, if you put the ball in wide areas and get it into the box he will score goals.
“He’s a player I respect who is with a football club I respect. Their manager has shown yet again that he has the adaptability to change the way he does thing to keep his club moving forward.
“These clubs tend to bring the best out of each other, so I can’t see there being no goals scored. Both teams will be looking to attack and we both know how good it is to reach the play-offs, so we’ll be looking to do the same again.
“We have to be mindful of the fact that Paul has been with his club for eleven years or so, and he knows it inside out. Let me tell you this now, if Carlisle United said to me that there was a five-and-a-half year contract on offer, I’d sign it!”
Click HERE to watch an interview with Keith Curle on iFollow United now.