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MANAGER: We're after players who've played a number of games

5 January 2016

Keith Curle on Ellis, two other targets and transfer activity

Manager Keith Curle spoke to us ahead of his Tuesday morning training session, held on the Brunton Park pitch.

“We’re training on the main pitch for the final time before it gets ripped up, and I think it’s important for the players to be part of that,” he said. “They’ve seen the club stripped back to its bare bones and I know they will feel it as a special day when they play their next home game here.

“We’re playing our games on the road at the moment but the aim is to get back to playing our football here as quickly as possible. We’ve been really well looked after at Preston and Blackburn but this is our home and it’s where we want to be.”

“There’s disappointment around on the playing side at the moment because we lost a game on Saturday,” he told us. “Let me tell you, I do not like losing. However, we learn from it and we look to put it right in training this week and at the game in Blackpool on Sunday. 

“We probably go into that game as favourites because of league positions, but it’s a cup tie and things have to be done properly. We’ll prepare the same way as we always do and we’ll respect the strengths Yeovil will bring to the game.

“I expect them to play a 4-5-1 or a 4-3-3, with and without the ball, and they do have a goal threat in Francois Zoko. Their league position suggests they have some weaknesses so it’s up to us to find them.”

On player availability, he said: “We’re very hopeful that Hallam Hope will be back and with us for the weekend. He’s had his injections and we will look to see whether we can get him back on the grass and ready to go.

“We’ve also had positive news from Jabo Ibehre and we were delighted to hear that his daughter is out of hospital and responding to treatment. He’s now in a very positive frame of mind but we’ve made it clear that his family situation still has to come first. 

“We want to know that he can come back to us without having to worry about what might be happening back at home. That way he can really throw himself into what we need him to do.”

And on defender Mark Ellis, who ended his current loan spell with the Blues last Saturday, he said: “We’ve entered into negotiations with Shrewsbury. Once we get the go ahead from that we’ll then be able to talk directly to Mark. 

“There’s a possibility that we could make his move a permanent one, and that’s something we’re exploring at the moment. It’s always in the back of your mind with a loan move that the player could be gone on a recall within 24 hours. 

“We still have to be respectful of the fact that he belongs to Shrewsbury Town at this moment in time. Once we get confirmation that we can talk to the player we can get more of a feel of where we’re at in terms of making this move happen. 

“Mark is one of the three players I’ve spoken about who I see adding to this squad in a positive way. I think he’s shown good levels of consistency, reliability and quality in his performances and that has led to us feeling that he will be a warranted addition to the squad.”

“With the other two targets, we’ve had one tentative favourable response,” he revealed. “We know there’s a situation where the club concerned needs to make moves of their own before we can make ours. 

“We’re also waiting for transfer activity from the parent club of the other player, but this all shows that we’re not just looking at squad players. We’re after players who have played a number of games already this year, in League One, and we want them here.

“We do have players available with us who could free up spaces in our squad, but we aren’t going to push anyone out. It’s an ever changing situation within a football club and the key is to make sure that everything you do leads to positive progression.”

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