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Club News

Curle: We Had To Be Brave

30 January 2013

Keith Curle was pleased with how well his team performed in difficult conditions to claim three points at Fratton Park.

Notts had to dig deep to overcome Portsmouth and, at one stage, it looked as though the npower League 1 strugglers were going to hold on for a point. 

Jeff Hughes’ back-post volley in the 81st minute eventually saw the Magpies’ dominance pay off, before Francois Zoko nodded home at close-range to wrap up the win.

“In the comfort of the stand you don’t realise the true conditions, with a blustery, swirling wind and a blizzard of rain coming into your face,” explained Curle.   

“Despite that, we still tried to play football and we had to be brave to get the ball down and pass and play to manoeuvre our play into the wide areas.

“In the first half I thought that we were comfortable in the game but without that cutting edge up front.

“We didn’t up the tempo of our play when entering the final third.

“That was what I asked for in the second half but I thought we started the first five minutes a little bit slow.

“After that, we moved the ball quickly into wider areas and in and around the advanced position of the two centre forwards I think we showed more cutting edge.” 

One negative to come from the evening was skipper Neal Bishop’s late dismissal for an off the ball incident involving Portsmouth’s Johnny Ertl.   

Curle joked that Bishop’s fine will help to pay for a new striker ahead of the transfer deadline on Thursday night. 

He said: “It’s disappointing, but it’s the unity that we’ve got within the group here that we see the chairman is prepared to dip his hand in his pocket to strengthen the squad and now we have players donating money to the chairman’s fund to help us bring in new players.

“I think that’s a unity that we’re all trying to share – the money will be welcomed.”

He added: “Bish is disappointed, he’s raised his hand to give Johnny Ertl a little tap to say ‘you’ve caught me there with a tackle – you were late’.

“It’s not as if he’s turned around and given him a right-hander but the amount of money he’s going to donate the fund, he might as well have.” 

Bishop will miss County’s next three games against Hartlepool United, Stevenage and Crewe Alexandra through suspension. 

Curle also confirmed that the club was unable to agree a deal to bring in frontman Jason Scotland, who has since joined Championship Barnsley on a free transfer. 

For full post-match reaction, sign in to Magpie Player.


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