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MANAGER: Need to gel as quickly as they can

23 June 2014

Manager Graham Kavanagh on the hunt for new players

Manager Graham Kavanagh spoke more about player recruitment following the news that Danny Grainger and Antony Sweeney had agreed deals with the club at the back end of last week.

"I've spoken to a lot of people over the summer who said I was incredibly brave to get rid of the amount of players I did," he said. "In my opinion we needed to freshen things up and this was our first opportunity to do that in three or four years. 

"Having made that decision, I didn't then want to dive into the market straight away. I wanted to see what was available rather than do deals with the first available players. 

"With the two we've just done, I watched Danny play last season and he played well every time I saw him. I've always known about Antony and he's one who can play a number of positions. That gives us more flexibility in the group."

"Ideally I want to have a squad of 23 players where none of them are guaranteed to be playing," he explained. "I want them all to be ready and challenging for starting places every week. 

"They all need to know what is expected this season. We need to get off to a good start and perform well, so they need to gel as quickly as they can. Obviously the sooner I can get the new players in the better, but I'm not going to rush anything or make any rash decisions." 

"If I manage to get more of the lads I've spoken to over the line then I'll be very pleased," he said. "I've had a holiday with my family but I've hardly been off the phone. You find that you're always talking to agents and trying to convince players this is the place to be. 

"I've been telling all of them what we'll be trying to do this season, which is to be in the top part of the table. I think everyone has seen how determined I am to do that. I'm hoping the passion I have for the job ahead will help them decide to come to Carlisle rather than look at higher money offers elsewhere." 

"If we can create the right environment and get a good understanding within the group early on I'm hopeful we'll have a successful season," he told us. "It isn't all about diving into the market and getting the first player you see.

"We've got a long five or six weeks of pre-season where we can look at players and we've still got ten days or so before we're back. I'm doing my last week of my pro-license this week so I'm looking forward to getting that out of the way, and being fully qualified, so I can completely focus on the job in hand. 

"The pre-season period is important and we'll be working as hard as we can to make sure we're fit and organised for what will be a very difficult opening game. 

"The excitement has started building now we know that we've got Luton and Derby in the first few days of the season. You can taste it now because you've got something to really focus on. However, there's a long way to go before we get to that. We need to get through pre-season and make sure everybody is right. 

"We're in the process of getting a fitness coach in, so an awful lot of things have changed at the club in a short space of time. We've rejigged the whole club in lots of different ways. We'll be bringing a new assistant in for Alan [Moore] and some new scouts, so the structure of the club has changed very quickly. 

"We all know what happened last season but we're looking at everything as a new start and a new challenge. I hope the players and the fans all buy into that and we can have a successful season." 

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