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MANAGER: Difficult to predict

9 January 2014

Graham Kavanagh on working in the loan market

Manager Graham Kavanagh spoke to us about the ongoing work to strengthen the squad as we go through the January transfer window.

“It’s difficult to predict the loan market because things look like they’re happening for you only to suddenly fall through,” he said. “There always seems to be a curve ball or two thrown in and that brings a knock-on with other factors – whether that be financial, positional or a player’s personal situation. 

“Getting deals done is nowhere near as clear cut as you think it would be. Having said that, I’m sure we will have some movement over the next few weeks.”

“I’d like to strengthen the top end of the pitch if we can,” he revealed. “I don’t think we’re scoring enough goals even though we’re starting to look like a strong and solid outfit.

“In fairness to the keeper and defenders you do need a bit of pressure taken off you, and that comes from your team getting those goals.” 

“You need the right choice when you’re bringing someone in because, as we’ve seen before, it is a difficult task,” he continued. “One of the biggest difficulties is attracting the right type of player within this January window. 

“Most of them want to see what’s available to them at the end of the season and you do have to look at why clubs want to move someone on halfway through. Nothing has come up so far which has made me think that I need to make him my number one target.

“In terms of outgoings, as I say, we’re trying to work on a few of the younger lads going out on loan so that they can get games. There are things we want to do but that comes down to everything falling into place.”

On what he’s learned from dealing with some of the bigger clubs over the last few months, he said: “I’ve learned a huge amount from having to deal with characters like David Moyes and Harry Redknapp. 

“It’s amazing because I was listening to an interview with Alan Wright, who has just left Southport, and there is no doubt that he will have learned an unbelievable amount about the job in the period of time he was there. 

“I’ve heard other managers in the past talking about being better for the experience having left their post and, from the outside, I always felt it was just the right thing to say at the time. Alan said it in his interview but I now know that what he was saying is an absolute fact.

“It’s a job where you learn about yourself, your own character and how much your own beliefs waiver with every knock you take. They definitely do waiver with some of the things you go through.

“When I first took over it was very much a case of me thinking – right, this is how it’s going to be. I’m going to do this, this and this ... but you very quickly realise that certain players will challenge you, others need an arm round them and you have others who need a kick up the backside. Sometimes you have to do things which go against your grain, but that’s management for you. 

“The managers I’ve spoken to, like Harry Redknapp and David Moyes, are all quick to point out there is no right or wrong way. They stress that it’s about getting the best from your players in any way you can. That can mean you have to bite your lip and possibly swallow your pride, at times, as long as it means that the group and the club will march on.”

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