Keith Curle on a weekend of travel and the transfer window
Manager Keith Curle spoke about the prospect of returning to Brunton Park for the York City home game as he prepares for the long trip south to face Barnet and Yeovil this weekend.
“We've made no secret of the fact that we want to get back to Brunton Park as quickly as possible,” he said. “The help we've had from the football family of Preston, Blackburn and Blackpool has been very well received, but I think the novelty has worn off for the players, management and the supporters. We want to be back at home.
“I feel for the players because there is an advantage of playing your games on your own pitch. The preparation, the familiarity with your surroundings and the mental aspect for away teams having to come all the way up here does have an impact on them.
“Having said that, the travelling we have to do isn't taking its toll because the rest and recuperation for the players has helped them to cope. We've shortened the training sessions because we know we've got a period coming up where we'll spend a lot of time on the road. We're doing short, sharp sessions at a match tempo to keep as much energy in the legs as possible.”
“A lot of hard work has been done by people behind the scenes at the club ahead of these next two games,” he explained. “The planning and preparation has been exceptional and the club have been fantastic in allowing me to prepare the team in what I think is the right way.
“All of the stops have been pulled out and we're travelling down in style with Virgin Trains on Friday for the Barnet game. They make sure we’re well looked after and there’ll be no excuses from us come Saturday or Tuesday.
“We’ll be staying down south after the Barnet game and we will cross over to Bristol for Sunday and Monday. It will then be on to Yeovil for the game on Monday night, or Tuesday morning, depending on how we want to do it. That’s considerable expense for a travelling party of nearly 30 people and it’s a real financial commitment from the football club. For me it shows forward thinking and it tells me that people are prepared to back us to give us the best possible chance of being ready to perform as well as we can.”
On player availability, he said: “We only have Steven Rigg as a long term injury at the moment. He’s ahead of schedule and he’s working hard behind the scenes to get the mobility and confidence back in his ankle. He’s booked in to see a specialist for a check-up and hopefully we’ll get positive news there.
“Jason Kennedy trained with us today [Thursday], but it wasn’t to the full extent with us being on the 3G pitch. The back spasm he had has eased so he’s available for selection for Saturday.
“The players who haven’t been playing as much as we would like were given a good test down at Barrow on Tuesday. We had some good trialists with us and we saw some good performances. All of those involved got valuable game time in what was a competitive fixture.
“A young lad from QPR, Brandon Comley, had a good game so we will probably have another look at him. Addison Garnett was involved but he isn’t progressing as quickly as I would have hoped at this moment in time. We’ve had a period where he hadn’t been able to play games, through no fault of his or ours, and I don’t see him being able to slot into the first team squad straight away right now. That’s one we will possibly need to revisit in a short period of time.”
On the January transfer window activity and targets, he said: “We’re getting very close with some of the work we’re trying to do. If I get the go ahead to speak to a player it means the clubs have agreed terms, whether that’s for a loan deal or a permanent signing. I have two or three I’m hoping to get over the line as soon as possible.
“It’s possibly too late now to get somebody in for Saturday, but we’ll keep working away. As things stand, I’ve spoken to the representatives of the players, which I’m allowed to do, and now we’re just waiting for things to fall into place so we can get that domino effect and we can get things sorted. The players we’re looking at now are with a League One club and a Championship club and trust me when I say we’re doing everything we can.
“We’ve had two enquiries for our players but one of them hasn’t met the financial requirement. I don’t think the player would go down to the level with the other one, so I haven’t gone any further with that.”
And on the prospect of extending Hallam Hope beyond his 93-day loan spell, he said: “Hallam is a very good athlete and he’s a matter of days away from being back up and running fully. If we can get him there we think he’s going to be a very good player. His loan with us is up soon but one thing I won’t do is babysit anybody.
“We brought him here because of what we think he can do, and we extended it recently because I’m confident we can get him back to what we saw in his first two games with us. Hopefully that will be the case.”
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