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Curle Ahead Of Brentford Cup Tie

21 September 2021

© Eddie Garvey

Latics make the trip to the capital this evening to face Premier League side Brentford in the third round of the Carabao Cup and the Head Coach sat down to preview the encounter.

Last time out, Keith Curle witnessed his team pick up a point and clean sheet at Boundary Park which he believes allows a platform for the players to build on their performance as well as focusing on the game plan against the Bees.

"It's a starting point and I think that everybody understands where we're at and we're not where we need to be. In order to turn it around, we're going to need to make small steps in the right direction which a point and clean sheet are very much in the right direction.

"There's no such thing as a free hit in life. I think that it's an opportunity to go out and put on a performance, individually and collectively, that we're proud of and whether that be at Sutton away or Brentford away, the mindset should always be wearing the shirt with pride and put in a performance that you as an individual are happy with.

"We've got to be reactive to different things within the game because there will be periods of time which you're going to be able to keep possession of the ball, but there's going to be times where you haven't got possession of the ball and we've got a plan for both situations.

"When we've got possession, we've got to have direction in our play and understand where we want the ball to get to in their final third likewise, out of possession, we need to have the mindset as a team that we've got to be in the right place at the right time and do what needs to be done."

Thomas Frank has a variety of players at his disposal for the clash courtesy of Brentford’s shrewd recruitment policy so the gaffer states that it’ll be tough whichever side they put out.

"They play Liverpool at the weekend; their main priority is to stay in the Premier League because they've worked hard for a long time to get there. However, in saying that they got to the semi-final last season, so they will not be taking this competition lightly.

"It won't be a weak team because they've got players there that will be thinking that they've not received as much game time as they would've liked so they will want to prove a point, so this is their opportunity to give their gaffer a nudge in the right direction.

"If you have a look at the statistics, we've lost six league games but won three in the cup, so it proves that it's all to play for against Brentford. Our attitude and mentality are that we know what we got to do in order to be successful and we've gone over a lot of things in training that has weighted in our favour, but it starts with our mental attitude to accept the challenges that Brentford will pose.

"I've said before that they've got a good squad and possess excellent professionals in which they've got a way of undertaking their recruitment and it's very statistically based on characteristics and attributes that they see is important to them and their footballing structure, so when they're signing players, they are benchmarked players which are hitting specific targets that they deem could be an asset to them.

"People will probably say 'Oh, they'll play their B team', but every professional to represent Brentford is there for a reason."

Curle may come up against a familiar face tomorrow as he managed Charlie Goode whilst at Northampton Town and he significantly developed his career in which he aims to implement the same with his current squad of players.

"I know Charlie (Goode), I bought him for £40k and sold him for in excess of £1million in the space of 18 months, but within that, there was a lot of changes, not only in his footballing ability but in his mental approach and outlook and his alignment of what he wanted as an individual, however, it didn't happen overnight.

"We provided a lot of advice and he lapped it up, he enjoyed it and the pleasing thing is that very quickly he noticed a difference and when you see the difference then people begin to buy into the vision.

"Our changing room has been through a lot and they've overseen a lot of challenges also they're aware of the league position that they're in at the moment, but credit to them because the atmosphere and environment that we've been working in is a learning and developing environment which means it's not all about praise.

"Sometimes it's about how you handle the disappointment and criticism, but the players have taken on board all of the information that myself and the coaches have given them in the right vein. This highlights the progress that we've made as they don't sulk, and they don't have that attitude of someone's having a go at me because we're trying to help improve them which Charlie Goode’s the prime example."

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