Keith Curle on the importance of getting moves right
Manager Keith Curle on the importance of getting things right when players, particularly the younger members of the squad, move on.
“I had a good opportunity to reflect on the game over the weekend and the pleasing thing was that a lot of the stuff we worked on in training through the week was evident during the 90 minutes,” he said. “I watched the DVD a couple of times and it was good to see that we stopped them and caused them problems.
“The manner of how we win games comes second to getting that winning mentality at the moment. We’ve adhered to the message of stopping the opposition before we play in most of the games since I came here and, again, that’s been good to see.”
On the current squad situation, he said: “There is still business to do in terms of recruitment. We need to be a progressive football club which is always striving for improvement. We’re in the bottom tier of English football so there is bound to be room for us to do that.
“That means the recruitment and selection process has to be in place and we also have to make sure the direct improvement continues through the coaching and training we do with the players.
“I still think that we, as a football club, are in a false position. We should be higher up the league with the ability we have in that changing room. However, we have to earn the right to keep saying that.”
“We still have improvement to see from a lot of the players we have here,” he continued. “Danny Kearns is a great example of that because we’ve seen glimpses of what he can do now.
“Steven Rigg is another. He came on for us on Saturday and he has a knack of getting opportunities inside the box. I have fitness issues to address with him. He needs to be fitter, quicker and stronger because of the time spread he has had out of the game with being a non-professional until last summer. There is definitely more to come from him.”
“We’re still getting to know Connor Brown and Tom Anderson and that’s a conversation I’ll be having with John Nixon,” he confirmed. “They are two players who have come in and equipped themselves really well.
“Connor is tenacious and he likes to defend, but there are things I still think I can teach him. Tom made his home debut for us on Saturday and he gave a solid performance. He headed and kicked it when it was necessary and that was against good mobility from the Accrington attack.
“We’ll certainly discuss extending their loans because we had a scenario with Hayden White where we gave him a platform, and an opportunity, and he moved on. If we can reward players for buying into our ethos by trying to keep them here longer then that’s what we will try and do.”
And with four players yet to formally reply to their recent contract offers, he said: “A few of the players have representatives and they need to have discussions with them. I’ve had some emails back but that’s not the same as getting an official reply so that everything can get lodged with the Football League.
“The worst thing that can happen, if things don’t get sorted, is the players will still be here. I know from the characters involved that they’ll give us 100% even if that is the case. If they don’t do that it’s their loss because they’ll no longer be in the team.
“They all definitely have places at this football club, that’s why we’ve offered them contracts in the first place, and all we want to do is reward them for what they’ve been doing on the football pitch.”
“The younger players are potentially the future of this football club. We want the progression of this club to be in line with their progression. I’ve already been on record as saying that I think the potential these lads are showing means they could play at a minimum of Championship level.
“That’s where we want to be as a club so it depends whether we can get out of this division quickly. A lot of things have to fall in place for us to be a first division club on the edge of being in the Championship, and it’s about how quickly we can get there.”
“I wouldn’t be interested in a loan back deal for any player who moves on,” he agreed. “I don’t think that kind of thing works. If a player leaves a club they have to go and buy into their progression at the new parent club very quickly.
“If they don’t want to do that, stay here, because the financial rewards can be matched by us in the short term. We know the younger lads aren’t going to be here in four or five years time unless we get on board and get alongside their ambition.
“What we want, if a player does go, is to make sure the move is right for them and for the club. We want the players to progress their careers knowing that Carlisle has been their starting point.
“What we don’t want is for them to start to flourish here only to go and get lost in the big wide world. I watch U21 games two or three times a week and you see players with good ability, but there is a reason why they’re not playing. You have to find out why that is before you sign them.”
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