Keith Curle (Mansfield) and Chris Turner (Sheff Wed)
By Lawrie Madden 18-Mar-03, PFA website http://www.givemefootball.com
Sheffield Wednesday manager Chris Turner and Mansfield Town Boss Keith Curle are both struggling to avoid the drop from the First and Second Division, respectively. With big midweek games coming up (Wednesday go to Bradford and Mansfield visit Huddersfield tonight) givemefootball's Lawrie Madden spoke to the two mangers to find out how they are coping with the pressure of life at the bottom and the fearful prospect of relegation.
Q: Turning to you first Keith. A good win at the weekend (2-1 at home to Swindon) means you move out of the bottom four but you have an important game against Huddersfield who have just moved back into the bottom four. How do you see it?
A: KC. I think you do it a discredit when you say it is an important game. It is a massive game for the club. If you had said to me when I joined the club that with nine games to go that we would be in the shake-up then I would have taken it. At the moment it looks like ten teams are fighting to avoid the four relegation places. Cheltenham have just got seven points from their last three games and all of a sudden teams who thought they were out of it four or five games ago are being sucked back in
Q: Chris, you had a bad result at the weekend (losing 1-0 at home to Ipswich) which has made life harder for you. In your division it is looking like that it really is any three from four?
A: CT. Yes, we played well against Ipswich and I couldn't fault the lads for effort. We did well except in the final third and we were playing against an in-form side which got a narrow victory. I think it is between us four (Wednesday, Grimsby, Stoke and Brighton) for the three spots now. Results went against us at the weekend but it went for us the week before so we just have to keep going because there will be a few twists and turns to go yet. None of the clubs at the bottom have managed to be consistent and that is why we have not been able to put pressure on the teams outside the bottom four.
Q: Have you set targets for your teams to achieve what you think will need to survive?
A: KC. I think it will go down to the last two or three games of the season but I believe that 50-51 points will be enough to keep you up. That means four more wins for us which I think we are capable of.
CT. I think 46 points will be enough and it may even be less than that depending on results. Anyone who can string a run of results together quickly will get out of this.
Q: What qualities do you need from your team if you are going to survive?
A: KC. If we score goals we will stay up. Goals win you games and I think we have goals in the side and that is why I am hopeful of staying up. Our style of play is to attack, get the ball wide, get crosses in and plenty of shots.
CT. I think it is important the squad of players I have stay together and show unity. If we all stick together then we have as a good a chance as anyone but we all have to pull the same way.
Q: You are both playing away this week. With so much pressure on you is it better or worse to be playing away from home?
A: KC. We play the same way wherever we play. We don't know any other way. There is a positive atmosphere around the place and the players have responded.
CT. We played really well at Leicester the other week so we know we can go anywhere and give a good performance. We have a few injuries so I will have to juggle a few things around but basically we have nine cup finals until the end of the season - home and away.
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