New arrival Mike Jones spoke to us about his move to Brunton Park shortly after putting pen-to-paper on his two-year deal on Wednesday afternoon.
“I think there was a bit of interest in me even towards the back end of last year from Carlisle United,” he said. “I got to speak to the manager and Lee [Dykes] at the end of the season and I loved what they had to say.
“The move has been on the cards since then and it’s good that it’s done now. Obviously it would have been nice to get it done sooner, but we’re there and I’m excited about coming here.”
“From the talks I had with the manager I could see how much he wanted me and that’s quite flattering, really,” he added. “I like what he said about the way he wants to play and that fits with where I know I play my best football. Hopefully I’ll thrive here at Carlisle because I’ve come here to get promotion.
“The manager has big ambitions for this club and he doesn’t just want it to stop if we get into League One. He wants us to go again after that. Hopefully this will be a big season for all of us.”
On the other options up for consideration, he said: “There have been different things over the summer but the interest from Carlisle has been there all the way through.
“I’ve just been looking forward to getting here and getting it done, to be honest. I know I’m coming into League Two, and every player wants to play as high as they can, but sometimes you have to make a move that feels right.
“I want to come straight back up and I wouldn’t be here if I thought we couldn’t get promoted next year. I’ve seen the additions the manager has made, along with the players already here, and I’m really confident we’ll be at the top end of the table.”
Speaking about his previous experiences of promotion, he said: “I’ve enjoyed it twice before but it seems a long time ago now.
“That’s why I want to be involved with it again. I’ve had a couple of sticky seasons with Oldham, where we were at the wrong end, and nobody wants to go through that. It’s much better to be going home on a Saturday evening with a smile on your face. I really do believe I’ve come to the right place to get that.”
With pre-season starting today, he said: “I feel as fit as I ever was because fitness has never been a problem for me. I’ve always kept myself in good shape and it’ll be good to meet up with the other lads and get on with the job.
“I know Nicky Adams well, from playing with him at Crawley, and I met Jabo Ibehre when he came on loan to Oldham. Players like that are why I’ve come here. We’ve got a very good squad and that’s why I think we’ll be involved at the top end of things.
“As for how I play, I like to be on the ball. If I lose it I just want to be on it again, and I like to get the team going and push them on. I want to get assists and chip in with goals, and I’m a typical midfielder who likes to get up and down.
“There’s competition for places but that’s good for everybody. I don’t want to come to a place where you’re guaranteed to play every week because that’s when you start to feel you’re not really going to go anywhere.
“I embrace competition and I’ll always work hard to fight for my place. Once I’m on the pitch I’ll make sure I don’t lose the shirt. I’m itching to get going and get on with it all now.
“As I say, last season was a bit of a grind but we got the job done in the end. It was a frustrating way to leave Oldham, but we stayed up and it was nice not to have a relegation on my CV. Things finished well but I’m looking forward to pushing on from day one with this part of my career.”