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MANAGER: We're in good shape

4 December 2015

Keith Curle on injuries and trialists

Manager Keith Curle spoke to us about a good week of preparation as the squad gets ready to make the trip to Park View Road.

“We’re in good shape ahead of the weekend,” he said. “The lads are all enjoying the competitive environment and they’re stepping up to the challenges that brings. Part of that is to get into the starting eleven, and the players who aren’t getting selected are handling the disappointment in the right manner.

“Every single one of them is working hard because they want to be chipping away and ready to step up if the opportunity arises for them. We’re at a stage now where I have a squad of 25 or 26 players and I want to trim that down to a squad of 23. We can then look at other players I deem it necessary to bring in to keep us where we are, or even to push us on.

“We’ll keep working away at that because as soon as we think we're the finished article that's when I'll have problems. As a coaching staff we want to be progressive. We know we can improve the players we've got here and there are other players we can bring in who could add to what we've already got. As soon as that finishes we start looking towards the next season because we're striving to be successful.”

On the current injury situation, he said: “Hallam [Hope] has had a scan and that confirmed he’ll be out for another week or ten days. Hopefully we’ll get him back on the grass after that. It’s disappointing but we want to look after him and get him back so that he’s ready for selection. 

“We’ve had a glimpse so far of what we think he can do and we want to see more. If we can get him back to anywhere near the level we saw at Plymouth we know we’ve got a player who can add a lot to the squad.”

“Macaulay Gillesphey is back in full training with us now. He's been spending his time between the physio and strength and conditioning departments here and at Newcastle. The less travelling time for Macaulay the better, but that meant we could still keep an eye on his progress. He's back, raring to go, and fit and available for selection on Sunday.

“Tom Miller has a hamstring injury which kept him out of the game last week. He hasn’t quite recovered enough so he won’t be involved on Sunday. 

“We know about the reports which appeared about the Christmas function on Saturday and I can tell you the squad was told in no uncertain terms, before they left, that if anybody brought disgrace to the football club they would be dealt with internally. 

“I’ve spoken to Tom, and to others who were at the incident, and I’m more than happy for everyone, as and when necessary, to help the police with their ongoing enquiries. Having heard the facts, Tom hasn’t faced any internal disciplinary action and he isn’t likely to.”

And on trialist Addison Garnett, who has enjoyed an extended spell with the club, he said: “Addison has had a good spell with us and we’re waiting to hear about his international clearance before we look at whether or not we can get him in on a short-term deal. He cancelled his scholarship at QPR to explore the opportunity of doing a scholarship over in America. That didn’t work out for him so he’s now back in England. 

“He has a good physique and he has an attitude about him where he feels he missed the boat with the decisions he made. He wants to get back on it and he’s prepared to work hard to do that. 

“He’s a good competitor and he has a level of aggression about him which I think we can develop into a player. That’s why we’re looking at a short-term deal, but we’ll also need to clarify the international status and the compensation rights before we can take the next step towards finalising anything.”

We’ll have more from the manager on Saturday morning as he looks ahead to the game against Welling United on Sunday.

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