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MANAGER: I want to excite the fans

6 July 2014

Manager Graham Kavanagh on his summer recruitment policy

Manager Graham Kavanagh spoke to us about his summer recruitment policy as he continues the search for new faces to add to the squad.

“The club have been really good with me in terms of the budget,” he explained. “I was given the numbers and they've just let me get on with it. 

“If I'd wanted to I could have loaded one area and taken away from another, but I've been really conscious of not creating a divide in the group. Most agents will know what we're capable of paying so I've asked the players what their ambitions are, because we all want to be at the right end of the table. 

“I want to excite the fans and I want to get people off their seats. There's a really good buzz around the club, which I haven't experienced for a long time, and we want to use that to help us to build up some momentum as we go into what is an important season.”

“I would imagine the signings we’ve completed so far have raised the expectation levels for the fans,” he said. “The lads we’ve brought in are all very good ages and in the prime of their careers. 

“One thing we had too much of last season was fear. When we got injuries there was nobody on the pitch to guide the young lads, but I think we've got five or six of them now.  If I’m being honest, and I didn’t actually say this at the time, but with ten days to go at the end of last season I didn't think we’d be able to get out of the situation we were in. 

“I couldn't see what you would want to see in a situation like that in the players and it was a concern. The lack of belief and leadership was difficult because a lot of them hadn't experienced it before. 

“That's why I made the effort to go and see all of these players early in the close season. I knew we needed experienced men and I think that's what we've got. I explained to all of them that we were changing things behind the scenes at the club. Even things like getting the sports scientist in and putting lunches on for the players. Those little details can make a big difference and we're looking to improve in every way we can.”

"Lee [Fearn] has made a huge difference already,” he told us. “He's very forward thinking, he's worked at a number of clubs and he has some good experience behind him. I'm working very closely with him and I'm learning a lot, so it's been really good. Pre-season in the past has been very similar but we've mixed it up this season and the lads seem to be really enjoying it.”

"We're also bringing in two scouts this season which will help massively,” he continued. “After the Coventry game last season we picked up a lot of injuries and I had nobody to turn to for names or advice on players, or anything like that. I was doing it on my own and ringing other managers so I was very isolated. 

"If I'd had somebody who could give me some idea about who I needed to speak to that would have helped a lot. We now have that with the two scouts we've brought in. Les O'Neill is a Carlisle man through and through and he only wants the best for the club. 

“Dave Timms has worked at Bolton and Colchester so he knows the league and he knows the level. He's very enthusiastic about getting to games and helping us out. Dave will probably be the one to cover more of the games and Les will be the one I'll lean on for experience. I’m looking forward to working with both of them.”

United Player subscribers can see a series of video interviews with Graham Kavanagh now. Click HERE to go to the Player platform. Follow the same link for more information on United Player, and to subscribe.

Click HERE to see a clip from this interview on our YouTube channel. Follow the same link for more FREE content right from the heart of the club.

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