Carlisle manager Keith Curle pleased to ‘tough it out’ for Chesterfield points



Posted Sunday, February 18, 2018 by PA

Carlisle manager Keith Curle pleased to ‘tough it out’ for Chesterfield points

Carlisle manager Keith Curle stressed the points were more important than the performance as his side claimed their first win from four matches with a 2-0 victory over Chesterfield.

Kelvin Etuhu gave the hosts a first-half lead and – after Chesterfield’s Louis Reed has seen a goal disallowed – John O’Sullivan sealed the points with a late strike.

Curle said: “We had to tough it out. It wasn’t the entertaining and free-flowing spectacle we might have desired, but sometimes you have to tough it out.

“We can still do better, but on the balance of play, if we had taken our opportunities, it could have been a more comfortable afternoon.

“Today was always going to be about not wanting to make mistakes.

“We find a lot of teams prefer to play away from home where there’s less pressure on them. The message was to do the simple things and it’s pleasing to score two goals and have a clean sheet. I felt we could have had more goals on the day.”

Curle said injuries are taking their toll on his team, adding: “We have qualities lacking within the squad due to injuries to players who are very solid. We are without potentially half a team.

“There might not have been the fluidity today, but we kept a clean sheet which we will take and on the day fortune with the officials who correctly gave an offside decision due to interference with Jack Bonham.”

The Carlisle manager had special praise for the recalled man of the match Mark Ellis who teamed up alongside veteran Clint Hill in the centre of defence.

“Clint and Mark were combative and aggressive and did exactly what it said on the tin,” he said.

Etuhu gave Carlisle a first-half lead with a firm effort from 20 yards and Curle was impressed at his opener.

“It was a controlled effort. But we had a finishing session yesterday and he was absolutely shocking,” said Curle.

“Kelvin has the ability when required to step up to the plate and it was a timely goal, something we have been working on.”

Etuhu went off a minute later with a hamstring injury but Curle was optimistic, saying: “Hopefully it’s a twinge and he came off as a precaution, but we’ve not had chance to assess it yet.”

Chesterfield had a brief second-half spell when it seemed they would be able to haul themselves back into the game, but when Reed had a goal chalked off for offside, that summed up their day.

Spireites boss Jack Lester was upset with the decision to chalk off Reed’s strike which would have given his side an equaliser.

He said: “The officials said number 23 was in the way of the goalkeeper and offside, but we have not got that number in our squad. It was a massive and pivotal moment in the game.

“If that went in we would have been favourites to go on and win it. It was a scrappy game, but we were capable of winning it. There was nothing in it. We hit the bar and they scored with their only shot in the first half.”

Lester lamented his side’s long injury list.

He added: “Five players we brought in on the deadline are all injured. We brought them in to give us experience and they are all out. This is a young team and we need experienced lads back – they know how to win games.”

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