Cumbrians will be up for derby, says Curle
UNDER-pressure Keith Curle insists his stuttering Carlisle United team should need no motivation for their derby against Hartlepool as their top-seven hopes suffered another setback.
The Cumbrians were beaten 2-1 by Notts County having blown a goal lead given to them by a fine strike from Jabo Ibehre.
But late goals from Jon Stead and Matt Tootle completed the visitors’ turnaround as they made it four wins on the spin.
It has left Carlisle fighting tooth and nail for a place in the top seven, and they now face a derby with Hartlepool on Good Friday which is massive game for both sides at the business end of this season.
But reflecting on the defeat against Notts, Curle believes he shouldn’t have to pick his players up too much given the derby which lays on the horizon.
“There was some poor decision-making at crucial times,” he said. “I wanted to put five midfielders in to get a foothold in the game.
“There is a lot at stake at the moment but I thought there was a bit of nervousness out there as well.
“We just needed to make good decisions after going a goal up to see the game out but we just couldn’t do it. That was disappointing.
“We’ll now get them ready for Hartlepool next week which is going to be a huge local derby.
“But they should need no motivation for that game. We know what the stakes are as they are fighting for their lives.”
Jubilant Notts boss Kevin Nolan said he couldn’t have been prouder of his players and their transformation since he arrived in January has been remarkable.
Football League safety is all but guaranteed thanks to a run of just four defeats in 16 matches, and it has led the club’s owner Alan Hardy to begin contract talks with Nolan over a new deal.
“The away form is looking a lot better now and a lot healthier since I came in,” said Nolan.
“I thought we thoroughly deserved the points and I thought we handled them really well.
“I was a bit disappointed with the goal we conceded. I thought we could have cut it out a lot earlier.
“I was delighted with the reaction of all the boys and then from the lads who came on.
“Their attitude and application when they came on to the pitch was just brilliant.
“That’s why you have a squad and that’s why I talk about it all the time.”