Spireites v Carlisle build-up: Capital One Cup tie against Chesterfield represents a massive opportunity for us, says Keith Curle

Keith Curle
Keith Curle

Keith Curle says the Capital One Cup first round tie at home to Chesterfield represents a “massive opportunity” for Carlisle United.

Carlisle also came from behind in their first fixture of the Football League calender - but had to settle for a point at Spireites’ rivals Mansfield Town.

Jabo Ibehre’s debut goal on the stroke of half-time cancelled out Malvind Benning’s opener for the Stags and Curle is keen to build on that start in the cup.

“I want to win football matches and to do that I’ve got to put a very competitive team out there,” said the Carlisle boss. “It’s a massive opportunity for us.”

“Do we take our foot off the gas? No. There are players who want to get in the team, and players who have got the shirt have got to keep on performing.

“With the fitness levels, strength and character we’ve got, we have to ask can we roll out 50, 55, 60 games consistently?”

Dean Saunders, the Chesterfield manager, has hinted he may shuffle the pack for the trip to Brunton Park tonight (Tuesday) against League Two opponents.

The former Wales international scored against Carlisle on the same ground in the same competition during his time with Derby County some 25 years ago.

And the two managers are no stranger to one another.

“Dean was one of those players you could kick and he’d come back for more,” said Curle. “That’s testament to how good a centre-forward he was.

“You would try to intimidate people, get in their shorts, and you’d find some players would soon want to go and play somewhere else.

“Dean was different – he had a lot of banter about him and could take a kick.

“He wasn’t necessarily a player who would give it out, but his way of hurting you was putting the ball in the back of your net.

“As a person I like Dean – a very bright, bubbly person and a good character for football.”

Related article: Dean Saunders set to shuffle the pack for Chesterfield’s Capital One Cup tie at Carlisle United