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Archived News from August 2004

12th August 2004 15:50

Evening Post

Keith Curle blasted his players for what he described as "pathetic" defending and "schoolboy errors" against Oxford last night.

And the Stags boss wants his side to be more "nasty" and "ruthless".

Curle believes a big opportunity for a first win of the season was missed at the Kassam Stadium because his side lacked the killer instinct.

"We had the majority of the chances," said the Stags boss.

"They had one half-chance which went in the first half.

"The game got a bit stretched near the end when it was ten versus ten and we were still going for an equaliser, and they had a few more chances.

"But we had them in the deep end and struggling - and we didn't put our foot on it and get rid of them."

Curle says he will only select players who he believes are willing to go the extra mile in the side's quest for promotion this season.

And he wants more concentration at the back.

"We've got to start being ruthless. Strikers need to have that aggression to put the ball in the back of the net.

"The goal was pathetic, it should have been stopped - it was schoolboy errors."

Curle says Adam Eaton will be fit for Saturday's game after he was replaced at half-time.

But he will soon be without Lee Williamson for one game after the midfielder was sent off for a second caution.

"You are always going to run the risk that, if you've been booked and you go to ground and miss the ball, you will get sent off.

"I spoke to him a number of times and said he can't afford to go to ground.

"I'm disappointed because we allowed them to score a sloppy, needless goal and made needless errors.

"But I don't do hard luck stories - they scored one and we didn't score."

Audio interview with Keith Curle from Radio Nottingham (RealPlayer needed)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nottingham/realmedia/football/2005/mansfield_oxford_away_curle.ram" target="_blank"> http://www.bbc.co.uk/nottingham/realmedia/football/2005/mansfield_oxford_away_curle.ram
Evening Post

Oxford Utd 1 v 0 Mansfield Town
Mansfield boss Keith Curle tried to remain positive after seeing his side slip to their second successive defeat. "It was a shabby goal we conceded, but we need to pick ourselves up," he said.

"We are only two games into the season and I can assure you that there are teams at the top of the table now who we will finish above."

Oxford boss Graham Rix was full of praise for his team after they recorded their first win of the season in a thrilling League Two clash with Mansfield.

Summer signing Tommy Mooney scored the only goal of the game after 36 minutes to send the home crowd home in delight after they witnessed a match packed with incident.

Two red cards, a flurry of yellow cards, goal line clearances and great saves the match was never short on entertainment and Rix was overjoyed at his side's bravery. He said: "I am absolutely chuffed to bits for everybody connected with the club after that result.

"When Leo Roget got sent off four minutes after half time, you feared the worst but everyone worked their socks off.

"It was important for us to get this win after the disappointment at Boston on Saturday but we've done it now and that was a terrific display.

"Tommy did what I brought him here to do, He only had a sniff of goal but he took the chance. Everyone however, deserved this result right from the goalkeeper to the strikers."
The Rix Reaction
Graham Rix paid tribute to the togetherness of his side as they chalked up a 1-0 win over Mansfield. The United boss told Yellow World:

"It was hard fought. We played for a long time a man down against eleven, after Leo Roget's red card,and Leo is a key man in our team. But I was delighted with the boys. They showed great spirit and togetherness and I thought they fully deserved the win.

"The front two are showing good understanding. I still think Bradders is just trying a bit too hard with the ball, and I've had that chat with him, but his work rate was tremendous all evening and he caused them trouble all night. He just needs to settle down in front of goal because he was snatching at things a little, but we scored a great goal. It was good movement down the right and a good ball in from Chrissy Hacket, and Tommy, as usual, was there to bang it into the net.

"I'm proud of every one of them, from front to back."

Graham was also quick to thank the supporters, who roared on ten man United for long periods of an entertaining match:

"The crowd got behind us, and they maybe thought we'd been a little bit hard done by on one or two occasions, but the crowd certainly played a part. I hope they've gone home happy. You can't always play open attractive football, sometimes you've got to graft, and we did that tonight. We showed a brilliant togetherness and the crowd lifted us when we needed it, so it was a decent evening's work"


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