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MANAGER: We need wolves, not sheep

8 January 2015

Keith Curle with more on transfer targets

United boss Keith Curle gave us an update on his transfer window dealings at his regular Thursday morning press conference.

“I’ve spent a lot of time going up and down the motorway over the last few days,” he said. “I’ve been speaking to agents, players and representatives, and it’s been time well spent. 

“I’ve been able to sell myself, the club and the vision of where we want to go to these players, and I haven’t tried to move away from where we are as a football team at the moment. I’ve highlighted the fact we need the right characters to come into this football club. I only want players here who want to play for me and who are of the strong mentality needed around me and in my changing room.”

“It’s a big job, but it’s about selling myself, the club and the city of Carlisle,” he said. “What I don’t want to do is throw lots of money at players and then tell them they should come and play for me because I’m going to pay them more than anyone else. That’s not what I’m about.

“I know I’ve got to balance the books and spend the money the club are giving me very wisely. That means I’m not going to overpay anyone. I’ll bring people in who I want at this club, if I’m able to. If I’m not able to then I will continue to work with the players I’ve got until I’m at a point where I can get a deal which will bring value to us, and which will help me and the football team to progress.”

As to the type of deal he is trying to conclude, he said: “I’m exploring all avenues with the mindset of trying to safeguard this football club. 

“I’m not going to just throw permanent deals at players for the sake of it. If I’m able to get someone on loan, with a view to a permanent move, I will. Sometimes that approach suits other people as well. 

“We do have people who have looked at Carlisle and found it to be a little bit further away than they thought it was. That means they don’t want to commit long term until they’re certain they want to play at this place. I’m happy with that. Once people come to Carlisle and see what the people and the city is like you find it’s not much of a problem in keeping them here.”

“I’m prepared to travel to sell our message to people face to face,” he added. “I’m passionate about my job and about this football club. I feel I’m only able to share my vision of where I want this club to go when I actually meet someone. All of that passion can be lost if you communicate via email or phone.

“As part of my negotiations I start off by telling the player a little bit about myself and the football club. I then ask them to give me a brief outline of what they think they can bring me and what they think they're about. I'll have been given their biography, and seen them play, but I like to get a feel for their character. 

“I'll also ask them about their background and their marital status, because those types of things are important. A slightly older player came up to the area with his family, earlier in the week, but turned us down because of the distance. One of his children was at school and he wanted to be involved in the school run and things like that. It’s disappointing but we move on very quickly.

“I've got to make sure we get the right players in. I've told John [Nixon] that I can easily fill the changing room with footballers, but the situation we're in at the moment means we need the right players. 

“I've got five or six players in the changing room who can play in the hole - but nobody to dig me a hole. That's what we need. We need to start digging results out, participating in the fight and enjoying it. We've got to scrap because every single week we will be fighting for our professional lives. We need to show that.”

“I spoke to a player yesterday who I'm hoping to bring into the club,” he concluded. “You can call him a fighter or an enforcer, but he does the horrible side of the game very well. He's tenacious and competitive, and he values his profession, which is something I like. 

“I met him yesterday and he's got a calmness that I like, but also a steely side to his character. He isn't a banger of the chest or a shouter but he gets his job done. 

“In the scrap we're in now we need wolves, not sheep. At the moment we've got too many sheep in that changing room. We need some players who will go out with a bit of bite about their game. 

“That isn't just in tackles, but that bite and aggression in their play along with a determined attitude. That’s what I'm trying to bring into the football club because I think it's lacking.”

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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