Ahead of the Boxing Day trip to Crawley Town, Keith Curle has spoken about his planning for the Christmas period and what he expects from the players.
“Since I’ve been in management my rule has been I don’t work Sundays unless there is a fixture and I don’t work Christmas Day,” he said.
“When I say I don’t work I mean the players don’t attend training. When I was a player some managers would have you in early Christmas Day, later in the afternoon or in a hotel overnight.
“There were a lot of variations ahead of playing on Boxing Day. Using all of those methods I’ve won some games but I’ve lost and drawn some games as well, so I don't think it makes a great deal of difference.
“Christmas Day is a day to relax, be around the family and embrace what Christmas means to you as an individual.
“We will be working very hard on Christmas Eve and we will have a game plan for Crawley but then I think it’s important for the players to have that family time.
“The bond and the trust you build up with the players is important and I believe you need to give them enough time off to look after themselves but when they are not with us there is still an expectancy on them to represent themselves and the club in the right manner.
"They can relax and prepare in their own way on Christmas Day, we trust them to do that. Then, in return, when we gather on Boxing Day morning, we expect them to be right at it and to be right on it for the Crawley Town game.
“There is a vibrancy and confidence about the changing room at the moment and I think that is spreading through the club. There is a sense of anticipation in the stands and there is a buoyancy and a bounce around the club.
“That is something we have tried to create since coming in and the more people we get bouncing to the same tune the more of a fortress this place is going to become and then you are able to take that on the road with you as well.”