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MANAGER: Sometimes you need to be able to win ugly games

Keith Curle with his thoughts on the Grimsby home victory

4 March 2018

United boss Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the win over Grimsby Town which made it a fourth consecutive victory for the Cumbrians.

“I thought we started the game well,” he commented. “The momentum was with us, but we then stopped doing the things which had been giving us success.

“We’d been getting balls into good areas and the game could have been out of sight with some of the chances we created. We had a few opportunities to score the second goal and that would have changed the dynamics.

“We stopped getting the ball forward effectively and that meant we couldn’t put pressure on in the opposition half. We ended up defending deep and the game became stretched. That tends to suit the team playing away from home.”

“Sometimes you need to be able to win ugly games, and that can be difficult because we predominantly have footballers who want to play football,” he explained. “There are occasions when you just have to get after the ball in good areas and land on second balls.

“We had to go toe-to-toe at different stages of the game and it wasn’t a performance many people will remember. We started with two different types of forward and I thought they were a threat against their two big centre backs.

“I don’t think we gave them enough service and that’s because we didn’t keep the early momentum going. On a difficult pitch we didn’t play to the conditions as well as we could have.

“These are nervy times for teams. We’ve played teams who have been fighting for their lives and professional players don’t give up easily. Grimsby competed very well, and they showed good signs of fight and battle which the new manager will be pleased with.”

On Hallam Hope’s eleventh goal of the season, he said: “He’s playing well. It’s got to a point where it’s dropping for him and you feel that he’s going to create things.

“He’ll be disappointed with the penalty he missed but it shows the vein of form he’s in that he wanted to take it in the first place. If there had been the same situation six months ago I think he’d have thrown the ball away if someone had given it to him, because he wouldn’t have wanted the responsibility. He’s missed this one, but he’ll get another one.

“His approach is a lesson to everyone. When you’re getting criticised get your head down and do your job. Work hard and you will get your rewards. Accept the criticism but express yourself in the right areas. He’s done that and he deserves the praise he’s getting.”

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

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