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MANAGER: An opportunity to freshen things up

4 January 2016

Keith Curle on developing the squad, Ibehre, Hope and Ellis

Manager Keith Curle spoke to us about options and developing the squad as we head into the first week of the January transfer window.

“We could probably have done with a few more options on Saturday but the window is open now and there’s an opportunity for us to freshen things up,” he said. “There’s no panic in that though because the foundations and structure are in place. We were limited against Plymouth by not having Hallam Hope and Jabo Ibehre, but there’s nothing we could do to change that.

“We all know the reason why Jabo was missing now. There was always going to be interest in why he wasn’t playing but that was a personal matter. Ideally for Jabo we wouldn’t be talking about it, but we understand that fans and others are going to speculate. 

“The pleasing thing is there’s nothing to speculate about. Players who score goals will receive interest at any level, but he isn’t available to go anywhere and we aren’t going to make him available. He enjoys Carlisle, he enjoys Cumbria and he’s enjoying his football, and that’s a massive plus for us. He looks after himself superbly well and he’s playing like a 26-year old, both mentally and physically.”

“With Hallam, he’s been having a course of injections for his ankle problem and that is finally starting to show results,” he added. “It should be the last of the medication he needs to solve the issue he’s had. 

“He was brought here because we think he can be a threat. He showed that in the two games he played and we’re aware of the fact he was injured playing for us. That brings a level of frustration because we’ve been paying for a player we haven’t been able to use. We have that philosophy at this club because the injury happened when he was here. 

“We’ve paid his wages because we know if we can get him back to where he was he can be a useful tool in this division. The medical department will look at it but we would like to keep him here beyond this loan spell. If he’s still injured we obviously wouldn’t do that, and I also know there are other people who want his services.”

Speaking about the opening of the January transfer window, he said: “We’re at a stage where the recommendations we’re making have been handed to John Nixon. He will make contact with the clubs in question, which is the right thing to do, and if we’re given permission to speak to the players we can take it from there.

“We have our targets but, as I say, there’s no feeling of rush or panic. We want the right characters who will help us to build on what we’ve done. We’re looking to develop the squad in the right way because there are players at the club I know will need game time in the short, medium and long term. That’s something we’re always thinking about and looking at.”

And on defender Mark Ellis, whose loan spell expired after the Plymouth game on Saturday, he said: “We’re going to start talking to Shrewsbury this week about Mark. Saturday probably wasn’t a good time to talk to their manager about it because they’d just been badly beaten. 

“I think their centre back was sent off as well so that could have a bearing on any decision they make. We would like to extend his stay with us but he’s their player and we will be respectful of that. He’s one who is getting better and better. He has a good understanding within the back four and he’s definitely a player we’d like to keep.”

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