Manager Graham Kavanagh on Berrett and Thirlwell
Manager Graham Kavanagh today confirmed that midfielders James Berrett and Paul Thirlwell have until Friday to reply to the contract offers made at the end of last season.
Club captain Thirlwell, 35, was offered a one-year deal and Berrett, 25, was offered a two-year deal as Kavanagh looked to reshape his squad ahead of the new campaign.
“We’re still waiting for decisions from Thir and Bez but there’s nothing unusual about that,” he said. “The players have a calendar month from the day the offer is made to give their reply, so that means they have until Friday to let us know.
“We spoke to them both because we feel they could be part of what we want to do. I believe they're the right type of character who consistently perform to a level I expect.
“Bez sacrificed his game in a lot of periods last season because we had one or two senior midfielders out, and I asked him to step up. I think Bez is a good player who can definitely play at a higher level. He just gets on with the job you ask him to do.”
“Thir brings a lot to the dressing room and to the way we play and we know all about the qualities he has,” he continued. “Hopefully the outcome will be positive from both of them but, if it isn’t, we’ll handle that and push on.”
And on the task of rebuilding, he said: “I wanted to make sure there was no hangover from last season. We couldn't afford to have a few weeks at the start of pre-season where people needed to be picked up.
“If we’d kept the majority of players it would still have been the group who went through what happened last season and it would have made it more difficult for that to happen.
“The group had been together for three or four years, with one or two additions, but we probably weren't moving forward as quickly as we would have liked. We had an opportunity to really freshen things up, and I mean no disrespect to the players who did leave us when I say that. I think a lot of those players gave everything for this club during their time here.
“Tough decisions needed to be made but I feel they were the right decisions. Only time will tell on that, but we’re looking to bring players in who will make that the case.”
We’ll have more from the manager on the official website this week.