MANAGER: We identified his qualities

Keith Curle on the signing of Charlie Wyke

Manager Keith Curle spoke to us about new signing Charlie Wyke shortly after the striker had completed his first training session with his new team mates.

“It’s been going on a while but it’s down to good communication between us, his agent and Middlesbrough,” he said. “We identified the qualities he has – passion, ability and a willingness and desire to build a career – and he’s the kind of player we want around.

“He’s been at a fantastic football club so he’s had a good upbringing. Now it’s time for him to develop his own personality and footballing profile and we want to help him do that.” 

“There were three or four other clubs interested in him, and some offered financial packages bigger than ours,” he revealed. “I’ve explained before that we try to incentivise people, because if he comes here and does well, we do well. If he’s successful and he scores goals, and helps us to win football matches, then his financial package increases. It’s a win, win situation. 

“He’s a player with an air of physicality about him and his approach will put opposition defenders under pressure. He can play with his back to goal and he will be a focal point, if we need him to be. 

“I can see him playing in a one, two or three up front and that will give us options. He gives us direct competition in attacking areas because when you add a striker to the group it makes those who are already here step up. 

“He knows that to be a real success he needs to score goals. If he’s doing that he will attract attention, and that’s what we want. We want him to use this as part of his progression because, as I’ve already said, if he’s successful then so are we.”

“He goes straight into the squad for Bury and I’m sure he’s looking forward to it,” he commented. “It is a challenge, because of where we are, but it’s a journey we want everybody to enjoy. 

“With the environment we’re trying to create it’s important that those who come in know exactly what is expected of them. That was made clear to him because he’s a young man who has room for improvement, and who wants to improve.

“He knows he’ll get individual coaching from Colin West and that meant a lot to him. Colin was a very good centre forward in his day. All of the strikers will benefit from that type of work and I think it excited him to know he’d be doing that.”

On the process of getting the deal completed, he said: “It was done correctly from the outset. I didn’t speak to the player until we were given permission by Middlesbrough. I feel that was the right way to do it because other clubs had made financial offers for his services as well. 

“John [Nixon] has been in long communication with their chief executive to thrash out a deal which suits both parties. Obviously we don’t like having to pay money, but when you’re receiving a good quality of player it becomes fantastic backing from the football club. That shows they’re behind the long term vision we have because we were able to match the other bids which had been made.  

“Once that was all agreed we were able to speak to the player, and the pleasing thing was it wasn’t all about personal terms with him. It was refreshing to see him choose to come to a club that wasn’t just offering him the most money.

“For me it was about being able to look the player in the eye and see that he had a burning desire to join us. I was able to sell the vision of which direction I see the club taking, and the role he could play in being part of that. It all came together nicely and I’m pleased for all concerned that he is now a player at this club.”

And on the transfer work still to be done, he said: “With one, maybe two more additions to the squad I’ll be more than happy. One of the other targets we went for – Chris Porter – sent me a text last night apologising for him going to a club in a higher division [Colchester]. 

“He appreciated the attention and time given by us but the lure of playing at a higher level, plus the length of contract, meant he chose to go there. I don’t have a problem with that and I wish him well. You never know, our paths still may cross.”

“We are nearly there squad wise,” he continued. “It’s an ever changing situation and there are certain areas I’d be happier if I had cover for. If I’m able to do a little bit of wheeling and dealing then I’m hopeful I’ll be able to bring in one, possibly two more players. 

“However, I won’t make signings just for the sake of it. Anything I bring in has got to be better than what’s already here. I’m pleased with the acquisitions we’ve made so far. We’re still open to players with the right qualities in all areas of the pitch, and it’s a case of identifying them and bringing them in.” 

“Right back is a position we’re looking for longevity in,” he confirmed. “We didn’t unveil Matt [Young] as a big signing because he just wants to quietly come in and do his job. 

“With that in mind I didn’t want the media attention on him. I needed him to come in and morph into the back four as if he’d always been there. He’s looked like a natural full back so we’ll be having communications about trying to extend his loan. I think he’s enjoyed himself and he’s a credit to his club because he’s come here as an impeccable professional.”

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.

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