Keith Curle: Blame me for Carlisle Utd's defeat at Accrington Stanley
Keith Curle watched Carlisle United suffer a miserable 3-0 defeat at Accrington Stanley and said: Blame me.
The Blues boss kept his players locked in the dressing room until 6.15pm after the dismal showing at the Wham Stadium.
When he eventually appeared, Curle said he took all the responsibility for a performance that angered many of the 786 travelling fans.
Claiming he was "disappointed and angry," United's manager said: "I take full accountability and full responsibility for the performance.
"Blame me. I can take it. People booing, saying 'Curle out'…I can take it.
"This is a day I shoulder responsibility for the performance. Likewise, I'm not prepared to go out and blag, bluff, create smokescreens, [talk about] individual performances. I don’t think it's right for the paying public, our support, to do that.
"I take the criticism, the blame, and I take it squarely on the chin."
United went behind to Billy Kee's 15th minute goal before Sean McConville curled home a free-kick shortly before the break.
McConville capitalised on another Blues error to seal second-placed Stanley's win.
United, by contrast, slid to 16th in the fledgling League Two table.
Curle began his post-match interviews by giving only brief answers.
"We were well supported, we turned up, and we didn’t perform," he said.
"I'm hurting. And the performance wasn't good enough."
Curle would not reveal what he had said in the longest post-match dressing-room inquest of his reign.
He said: "It stays in there. It needs to stay in there.
"I came here [to Accrington] three years ago and came out with some quotes [about players lacking "male genitalia"] that made headlines and got a lot of people talking.
"I was very honest in what I said in my beliefs that day, and again, I believe the right thing to do now is to keep what was said in the changing room to myself, the players and staff who were in that changing room."
Asked if his players had shown enough desire in Saturday's display, Curle said: "Now's not the time to talk about key words that can be labelled towards the players. The performance wasn't good enough - I know that, the supporters know that, the players know that, and the players now get an opportunity to put that right.
"I can't change the result or the performance. All I can do is deal with it honestly, which I'm going to do. I'm not going to shy away from it. I'm available for criticism and I learn from it.
"The team I manage and represent, haven't performed. I'll take the criticism, I'll take the responsibility for it, and I'll deal with it."
On the hostile reception Curle and the players got from travelling fans as they left the pitch, he added: "I love the support that not only myself gets but the team and the club gets - we're very lucky to have that amount of passion, that amount of support.
"The loyalty and everything we get off the supporters, we always deserve, and we show our appreciation. Likewise, the players needed to get off the pitch today because it wasn't right."
United go to Coventry on Tuesday and Curle added: "We need to work. There's obvious things we need to work on. The mentality is that [this] game's been dealt with.
"No matter what I can say in the papers, on the radio, in the general media, nothing can change the result. It's there in history."
Accrington chairman Andy Holt and the Lancashire club's most famous supporter David "Bumble" Lloyd hit back at Curle after the result, meanwhile.
Both responded to the United manager's pre-match comments, where he described Accrington's dressing rooms as "tinpot" and compared manager John Coleman and No2 Jimmy Bell to a "pantomime horse".
Writing on Twitter, Holt said: "Great to beat tinpot managers like Keith Curle", later adding United's boss should "think twice" about criticising another club's facilities and commenting on their managerial team.
Cricket legend Lloyd added: "Have read that article…and have seen Mr Curle operate…no need to comment."