CURLE CALLS FOR PLAYERS TO PLAY WITH A SMILE
'Put smiles on faces' - Curle
STAGS boss Keith Curle has called for his players to play with a smile – and put a smile on the faces of their fans – as they approach a home 'Oxbridge double' on Saturday and Tuesday.
Reflecting on Tuesday's thrilling victory over Torquay, Curle said: "The supporters went home with smiles on their faces after that game, and now we need more of the same.
"We'd put in some great team performances in the games prior to Tuesday, without quite getting the results, and have shown that the desire is there. When things are not going quite according to plan, that's the time when you want to see extra desire to turn it round.
"People talk about 'bums on seats', but it was good to see bums off seats with the crowd getting to their feet and cheering – they went home happy."
Although, on paper, the easier of the three remaining home games, Stags know they cannot take Cambridge lightly on Saturday.
Following the sacking of John Taylor as manager two weeks ago, the U's have appointed former Cameroon international Claude Le Roy as their new boss and beat Cheltenham last weekend, their second win in six games.
However, Le Roy has been busy working with a television station in France and missed the Cheltenham game and it is not yet known if he will make Field Mill on Saturday.
If not, he has appointed Frenchman Herve Renard as coach and he could be in charge of team affairs on the day.
"It's a game people expect us to win," added Curle, "which means our own approach to the match has got to be even more spot on.
"Cambridge have a new man in charge, which means that his players will be out to impress him.
"But we're playing the way we want to play, and there are still a lot of twists and turns to come for the clubs involved in the race for promotion.
Stags pulled off a sensational win at Cambridge back on 27th September. Leading 1-0, Stags had Iyseden Christie and Rhys Day sent off before half-time. But the nine men still extended their lead through a Liam Lawrence penalty and clung on bravely for a 2-1 win, despite United pulling a late lifeline back.
"I've got good memories of that game – we went down to nine men and the players left on stood up to be counted."
Laurent D'Jaffo seems unlikely to figure – he remains sidelined through injury along with Iyseden Christie – but Curle is hopeful that his latest recruit will be fit to be considered for the Oxford game on Tuesday night.
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