Graham Kavanagh on excitement and positivity ahead of the new season
Manager Graham Kavanagh spoke to us about positivity and excitement as the first week of pre-season training comes to an end.
"It's great that we've got the group back together," he said. "We all know pre-season is a difficult time but it’s something that has to be done. It’s the foundation we’ll base our season on.
"It's been good to see the reaction of the fans to the signings we've brought in so far because we're all really excited. We've had to be patient and do our homework and obviously we got rid of 13 players, which was difficult. Bringing in better was never going to be easy but I feel we've done that so far.”
"We have options in the team now which is always what I was trying to create,” he continued. “I've said all along I think it's important to be able to rely on all 22 or 23 players who are in the squad.
“We're probably half way through where we want to be in terms of bringing new players in. Apart from one more signing, down the spine of the team, that will be mainly it. After that we'll have to be patient. Players are now going to start to panic, because they're missing out on pre-season, so we may get a chance to look at a few who weren’t really in our sights.”
"As exciting as this period has been the next few weeks will hopefully be just as exciting,” he told us. “We've got some real strong men and experienced players in. Now we need some technical players who can make a difference.
“We need a couple of strikers, a wide man and we obviously need another goalkeeper. I don't want to give too much away because it's difficult to get players to come to Carlisle and it's always difficult to get deals over the line.”
"Our philosophy will never change,” he confirmed. “I want to play football and I want an energetic team that is honest and hard working. In terms of systems, I think we need to be flexible. Looking at it now I think we've got a group of players who could play two systems very well.
“We'll see what pre-season brings in terms of more players and the way players perform. If it's a scrap, which some games in league two will be, we can do that. If it's a football game then I think we can mix it with the best of them. I'm saying this now, without having seen us play, but I firmly believe these players are capable of doing both of them.”
"The new lads have all settled in well already,” he said. “We went up to Talkin Tarn on Thursday morning and I did some of the running just to experience the banter and the communication around the group.
“It was fantastic. You can tell it's a fresh group and I think that's what we all needed. When you get rid of 13 players you're never sure how the ones you bring in will fit, but I've been really pleased with what I've seen so far.”
“Having experienced relegation myself I know the players won't have had a very enjoyable summer,” he told us. “You can come back with a bit of a hangover but that doesn't seem to be the case with this group because it’s so fresh. There's a new energy about it because the new lads are here with a point to prove. They've brought different styles and ways of training in so it’s given everybody a boost.
"People are talking about the club in a positive manner again which is always nice. There was a bad vibe around the place at the end of last season, which was totally understandable, but we've got a clean slate and I think everybody is looking forward to the season ahead.
“Hopefully the signings will impact on season tickets and people through the gate. I know there's a campaign to get 6,000 plus there for the first game and I think that's definitely achievable. If we can put on a good performance and build some momentum then we'll hopefully have a very successful season as a club."
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