Luke Joyce: Carlisle boss Keith Curle backs midfielder following criticism

Luke Joyce
Carlisle United midfielder Luke Joyce has made 36 appearances this season

Carlisle United boss Keith Curle has spoken in support of midfielder Luke Joyce following recent criticism from a section of supporters.

The 28-year-old was booed when he came on in the 62nd minute of Monday's 3-2 win against Bristol Rovers.

"Luke wants to do everything he can do, not only for this club, but for himself too," Curle told BBC Radio Cumbria.

"He brings maturity, professionalism, a willingness to work, learn and encourage younger players around him."

He continued: "He's gone through a nervous period and made a few passes that have gone astray, but it's disappointing when any home supporter doesn't give the support that's needed."

Carlisle lie four points outside the League Two play-off places following the win and have a game in hand on Wycombe and Leyton Orient - the two teams directly above them.

"We're gradually eradicating the fear factor," added Curle. "If players make mistakes trying to do the right things, I'll hold my hands up and back them.

"The pleasing thing is that the players are giving me everything that they have got and they are all on board. There's a competitive edge to the squad."

Striker Jabo Ibehre has been on the bench for Carlisle's last three games and has suffered with flu, but remains an important part of Curle's plans.

Curle said: "I ask him 'Jabo, I need you for 25 minutes, can you deliver?' and he says he wants to play and be involved, which is excellent."

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