Curle points to Luton’s financial clout

Andrew Shinnie celebrates his first league goal for the Hatters
Andrew Shinnie celebrates his first league goal for the Hatters

Carlisle United boss Keith Curle highlighted a difference in playing budgets as one of the main reasons behind his side’s 3-0 defeat at Kenilworth Road last night.

The visitors, who had come into the game on the back of a seven match unbeaten run themselves, were trailing 2-0 at the break to goals from Andrew Shinnie and Dan Potts, with Harry Cornick on target in the second period.

They’re well organised, well disciplined, they’re playing with confidence, on the front foot, they’re doing very well.

Keith Curle

Curle said: “They’ve got financial clout, as some of the other teams in the division has, and you’ve got to say it’s money well spent.

“They’ve invested well in strikers who find the net and they’ve got confidence in abundance from that.

“Arguably you’d say probably more so than in this division, quality does shine through.

“They’re a team full of attacking threat and they are playing with confidence. They had four shots and scored two in that first half, we had three and didn’t hit the back of the net.

“You’ve got to give the lad credit because it was a good finish. Sometimes that’s the quality you need, and you get what you pay for.

“They’re well organised, well disciplined, they’re playing with confidence, on the front foot, they’re doing very well.

“You give them an inch they can expose it.”

The Cumbrians boss felt if his side had scored after the break when they were enjoying their best spell, things might have been different.

He added: “Second half, we needed that goal, we had that dominance within the possession period of the second half and we were causing them problems.

“We got on the front foot and we were finding weakness and we just needed to find that opening.

“I’m disappointed for the lads because they competed and, in spells, produced some of the stuff we’re looking to play on a consistent basis.

“I thought there were periods where we were on top, but we needed a goal to make it count.

“We were putting the ball into good areas, but the final bit of quality wasn’t there. When we needed to be bringing others into play to get us further up the pitch we lost the momentum, on occasions, and that’s when the game became stretched.”

Curle also admitted he changed his formation around to try and stop Luton from playing, as he hadded: “I pick teams I think will cause the opposition problem.

“Within that in this game there were some good performances from people who were given the opportunity to play.

“The nature and understanding within the squad we have is that they know I’ll pick the team I think is best suited to the opposition we face.

“There will be talking points from players we select and from formation changes but, in my opinion, what I did was needed and merited for this game.

“Our team selection was tactical because we wanted to nullify the game, but I wanted to play the two quick, mobile lads up top. From watching their games, I knew they had better dynamics than us in midfield and a forward-thinking mentality, which meant there were going to run off us.

“If we’d played four at the back with their three up top, we were going to get heavily outnumbered in that area. We wanted that extra bit of assurance with an extra defender.”