Keith Curle views the task of turning around Carlisle United’s fortunes as his “biggest challenge” ahead of his first home game in charge.
The 50-year-old was named last Friday as Graham Kavanagh’s successor at Brunton Park and saw his new side suffer a 3-2 League Two defeat at Mansfield Town – one of his former clubs – a day later.
The ex-Manchester City centre-back Curle took over a side bottom of the Football League and without a victory in the fourth tier following their relegation last season.
The Cumbrians host Tranmere Rovers, who have also made a disappointing start after their relegation to League Two, on Saturday and Curle is under no illusions as to the size of the task he has taken on.
“This is definitely my biggest challenge,” he told the club’s official website.
“We’re bottom of the league and everybody is looking at us. The league position is a direct reflection on the football department.
“I’m head of that and the staff are part of it. The focus is on us and people want a reaction. The club needs a leader and an organiser and that’s what I intend to be.”
He added: “I know if I can get the playing side of things right the fans will back us.
“They voiced their opinion in the first half on Saturday and you couldn’t really argue with the chants of ‘we’re not very good’.
“The pleasing thing was that they stayed with us, even though we were 3-0 down at half-time. Credit to them for that. They then saw the start of the rebuilding process that’s in place at this football club with what we did in the second half.”
While Carlisle languish at the foot of the table, Bury moved to the summit last weekend by beating previous leaders Burton Albion 3-1 in a performance manager David Flitcroft described as “breathtaking”.
The Lancashire club make the long trip to Exeter City on Saturday searching for a fourth successive victory, but they face a stern test against a team looking for a third win in a row.
Gary Rowett will expect a response from his Burton side when they entertain Cheltenham Town, who are just four points behind them in seventh spot.
Accrington Stanley will host Plymouth Argyle attempting to make it two wins out of two since John Coleman returned to the club after they won 5-4 at Northampton Town in a thriller last weekend.
Third-placed Wycombe Wanderers host Cambridge United, Southend United entertain Shrewsbury Town and Northampton travel to Morecambe.
Saturday’s other games see Dagenham and Redbridge at home to York City, Portsmouth making the long journey north to Hartlepool United, while Oxford United travel to newly promoted Luton Town.
Curle’s old club, Mansfield, are at home to Stevenage and Newport County entertain AFC Wimbledon.
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