Carlisle striker causes Capital One Cup upset of the week at QPR
EVERGREEN striker Derek Asamoah turned in a sparkling show to inspire Carlisle United to a shock Capital One Cup win at QPR – and make it a great night for the boss who used to kick him!
Carlisle manager Keith Curle, a former Hoops coach under Neil Warnock, enjoyed his return to Loftus Road after Asamoah gave the Cumbrians the lead and then superbly set up substitute Jason Kennedy’s 79th-minute winner.
Jay Emmanuel-Thomas was on the mark for QPR, but that was all the Championship club had to cheer as the League Two visitors pulled off an upset – and then landed a plum tie at Liverpool in the third round.
It was 34-year-old Ghana international Asamoah, who has also played in France, Scotland, Bulgaria, and South Korea, who earned most of the plaudits – but it didn’t come as a surprise to his boss.
“I am a big admirer,” admitted Curle, 51. “The day when I first met Derek was when I was player-manager at Mansfield and he was at Northampton.
“He came on as sub and I kicked him about five times. The thing I liked about him was that every time I kicked him and the harder I kicked him, he just kept bouncing up and having another go.
“You couldn’t shake him off and that’s something he’s kept in his game now.”
And the former Manchester City and England international defender is hoping he can continue to get the best out of a striker who doesn’t like the limelight.
“He’s very quiet, very unassuming,” he said. “He doesn’t like the attention.You have got to know how to deal with him.
“On the coaching field he doesn’t like to stand out. Sometimes it’s the quiet chats, the phone calls, when you can let him know what you need.
“Derek is a good player – he can score goals, he can create goals, he’s a threat. He’s also got a good work ethic. He will empty the tank for you.”
But Curle didn’t want to heap praise on Asamoah alone. He was delighted with how his whole team per- formed against a QPR side that featured ten changes from last weekend’s 4-2 success against Rotherham United.
“We are trying to implement a style of play that suits us,” he said.
“We have brought the players to play a certain way and we are still a work in progress, but it’s performances like tonight that show there are rewards to be had.
“The players did everything asked of them and they deserve all the credit and accolades.”
But if there was one criticism Curle did have of his troops, it was how they let QPR get back on terms just three minutes after Asamoah’s 37th-minute opener.
“I had my say at half-time because when we scored we ran back to the halfway line,” he added.
“We are playing away from home and a Championship club – kill the game. A little bit of game management was needed.”
STILL GOING: Derek Asamoah, right, shows the tenacity that Carlisle boss Keith Curle loves