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MANAGER: I know what we need

5 January 2015

Keith Curle on the January transfer window

Manager Keith Curle spoke to us today about the work to be done in the January transfer window.

“I’m a fan of the transfer window if you’re sat on a pot of gold and you’ve been told you’ve got to spend it,” he said. “That doesn’t happen much at this level. 

“Apart from that, it’s an opportunity to bring new players into the club. It can lead to panic buys and scrambling, but I’m not a scrambler. I know what we need and I’m going to do my best to get it for us.”

“I’m very clear about the pond I’m fishing in,” he added. “I know the type of player I can get and the type I need. I’m not shopping at Harrods but I know what’s out there. Luckily enough I also know what I should be paying for it.” 

“I’m talking to Lee Dykes [Head of Recruitment] about players at least every 20 minutes,” he continued. “My head is full of names and I get agents and managers ringing me all the time with recommendations. I pass it all on to Lee and he digests it and puts it into a format whereby he can give me the information I need. I also need a contact list, for character references, to accompany that so I can make sure I’m making the right decision.”

On how long the process takes, he said: “It would have been great to have had all my ducks in a row on 1 January so that we could have announced four new players, on their white chargers, and said that the saviours were here. Unfortunately it doesn’t happen like that, but we will get there.

“I was in to talk to John Nixon first thing this morning and we have gone through a dossier of players I’ve been working on for a period of time now. I met with a player yesterday, and I’m meeting with his representative and the same player again today [Monday]. 

“I’ll be meeting another player and his representatives in the Midlands later today, and it’s all about selling the football club to these lads because they’re players I think will fit within the framework of the team we have at this moment in time.”

“It’s an ongoing situation,” he commented. “I’m hopeful things will happen, but I’m realistic as well. If we can make things happen in the short term, we certainly will.

“I have an understanding of where we’re at and I know I need to try and make a bit of space available in the squad to do the other things I want to do. The ideal scenario would be for me to be able to move six players out of the changing room, and that would help them with their careers as well. I would then look to bring four players in and if we could wheel and deal on how we do the wages then that would make it even better.”

“In terms of who we’re looking at, I’m not going to bring anyone in who I don’t think has the right character,” he told us. “You do get players and their agents who blow smoke, but I don’t think I’m too bad a judge of character. I can usually ask the right questions and, with a bit of digging and the use of my contacts, I can find out if they’re the kind of player I want in and around me.”

Speaking about the type of player he feels he needs, he said: “I’m looking for players who can go straight into the starting eleven. I don’t want to bring in squad players because we have enough at the club to allow me to shuffle the pack if I need to. 

“We would like to get some business done this week. Connor [Brown] and Ton [Anderson] have gone back to their parent clubs, in the short term, and it's all about availability as to whether or not you can look again at certain players.

"Like I say, I met a player over the weekend and it’s important now for John Nixon to see if he can do the financial side of it. Everything has to be right because we know this is an important time for the football club and for the changing room.

“If possible, I would like to bring in a bit of experience and people who will give us the blend we need. That would include youth, dynamics, experience and an understanding of the situation we face. We need people who will lead by example and who will have a positive impact on the changing room, on results and on performances.”

“I’m not too concerned about every player having experience as long as I know they can do their jobs. We’ve looked at one player who has played a couple of games of league football and another who is in and around a Championship squad.”

“I'm not going to get everything I want but I won't be pushing any boundaries,” he confirmed. “We’re very much working together and I know John [Nixon] has a keen eye on the finances. He won't let a pound out of his office without it being justified. He spends that money as if it belongs to every one of our supporters. My job is to sell the importance and the quality of the players I'm bringing in as necessities. If I’m asked to justify something, and I can, then he does what he can to make it happen.”

United Player subscribers can see a series of video interviews with Keith Curle now. Click HERE to go to the Player platform. Follow the same link for more information on United Player, and to subscribe.

Click HERE to see a clip from this interview on our YouTube channel. Follow the same link for more FREE content right from the heart of the club.

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