Curle reveals how he beat QPR in the last round of the Capital One Cup
A hard-working victory at Loftus Road last month has yielded a serious bonus for Carlisle United who will head down to Anfield on Wednesday with the backing of 6,000 supporters.
While the Blues are rank outsiders to win the Capital One Cup clash, fans will hope that their team can give a good account of themselves after beating Chesterfield and QPR to reach this stage of the competition.
For Keith Curle, there was no magic formula when it came to beating Championship opposition last time out. The Carlisle manager simply ensured that his team ground their opponents down by working their socks off and a similar work ethic will be required against Premier League opposition.
“The players have to get the praise and the accolades,” Curle said after the QPR win. “We came to a very good football club and imposed ourselves and got the rewards.
“I came up with a formation – ‘the box’. We played a box in midfield. Gary Dicker and Luke Joyce at the base of the box, and then (Antony) Sweeney and (Angelo) Balanta at the top of it.
“We worked on playing four versus three in midfield and keeping possession of the ball until we were able to get our spare man away from them, and I think it worked a couple of times.
“You could hear some of their coaches saying ‘how have they got another man in there?’ so it was working, and we got the rewards with the goal in the first half.”
Although York represents an important League Two assignment for Carlisle before their cup adventure continues, Curle admits that the feel-good factor is starting to return to a club which was recently relegated from League One and spent a good part of last season in the doldrums.
“It was one of those, it came down to the end – and oh, we’ve got Liverpool,” he said, reflecting on the draw.
“The chairman said to me ‘Go on then, how are you going to win that?’. I just said ‘We’ve got to deal with Hartlepool (in the league on Saturday) first’.
“We’re trying to get a feel-good factor into the club. When I came in they’d had a relegation and they were in a relegation fight and it was not a nice atmosphere at the club.”