Curle relieved at debut win

PA Sport
Keith Curle
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Keith Curle

Keith Curle was a happy and relieved man after a late goal from Jeff Hughes got his career as Notts County manager off to the perfect start in a 1-0 victory over Stevenage.

Boro, whose last game saw them hold Premier League challengers Tottenham 0-0 in the FA Cup, looked to have earned a slightly less glamorous goalless draw after frustrating the Magpies at Meadow Lane.

But Jeff Hughes' winner in the 90th minute was just rewards for a battling display, a perspective echoed by Curle. He said: "It was a fantastic result and I'm very pleased. Credit to Stevenage, they made it difficult for us to play."

He added: "It has been difficult because I've only had 45 minutes on the training ground with the players.

"I just tried to put them out in a way they were comfortable with. It's a platform to build on, one of the bricks we'll use to build on.

"There was always a belief that something was going to happen. We could tell that they wanted it and they knew all the rewards were there to take.

"The more you do on the football pitch, the more rewards you get."

Stevenage boss Gary Smith was unhappy as he tasted defeat for the first time since taking over from Graham Westley.

He said: "It's not a nice feeling - it was a sickening, gut-wrenching feeling when that goal went in the back of the net.

"Given the emotional drain of Sunday (against Spurs), the physical aspects of the players weren't where we'd like them to be."

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