Curle: We were brave to use no strikers

Keith Curle. Picture: Joe Pepler
Keith Curle. Picture: Joe Pepler

Keith Curle believes he was rewarded with the ‘brave’ decision to play with no strikers.

Carlisle picked up a 1-1 draw against Pompey on Saturday, despite playing with 10 men for 62 minutes of the game.

That was after Jamie Devitt was sent off for a second yellow card after a pull on Gary Roberts.

Carlisle were limited in their ambitions from that point with Pompey having 23 shots on goal to their two.

That saw no one utilised in attack for the Cumbrians, but Curle believes the ends justified the means.

He told carlisleunited.co.uk: ‘I had to make a brave decision by deciding to play none up front.

‘I knew I could be criticised for not trying to win the game but I can tell you that a point at Portsmouth when you’re down to ten men is pleasing.

‘I did what I did to try to protect the players and even they looked across at me to see who was supposed to play up front.

‘The answer to that was no one because my game plan was to absorb everything they had by putting an extra man in there. I knew that if we were lucky we could catch them on the break.

‘I get paid to make those decisions and if I come off that pitch thinking I should have done this or that, then I don’t think I’m worth the money I get paid.’

Curle explained the red card meant a change to his side’s plan to rattle Pompey with aggressive play.

He added: The plan at the start was to get in their faces as quickly as possible.

‘We knew we had to try and stifle them and make their play predictable.

‘And we had to accept that we would have to concede ground with having a man sent off.

‘We needed the plan B of defending and protecting our box

‘I did that by putting another defender in the middle of our area and that allowed our full-backs to go out and engage higher up the pitch.’

– JORDAN CROSS