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MANAGER: Incentives can be effective when done properly

13 May 2016

Keith Curle on trigger clauses and incentives

United boss Keith Curle this week explained the trigger clauses which activated contract extensions at various stages this season for Mark Gillespie, Jabo Ibehre and Michael Raynes.

“With Mark, we wanted to see him play a run of consecutive games, as much for his own confidence as for anything else,” he said. “His trigger was based around that because he’d had a couple of seasons which were affected by injury. The reward for being selected and getting pitch time was an extension to his deal, because we feel he’s got real potential to develop positively and become an even better player.

“I think he only missed one league game in the end and that was down to the suspension he picked up for his red card. He’ll have learned a lot from being in a team pushing at the top end of the table and he’s another who has earned the deal he got.”

“Jabo [Ibehre] and Michael [Raynes] also had their contracts set out so that if they hit certain targets there would be a continued progression of their deals,” he added. “It’s part of the incentives we give players and, again, they’ve both earned the extensions they got.

“Michael has come out of this year with the most minutes he has ever played in a season in his career. The biggest thing that has impressed me with him is the amount of touches he’s had on the ball. If we’d told him before he’d signed that we were going to try to turn him into a ball playing centre back, and that he’d get more touches of the ball than he’s ever had, I don’t think he’d have signed. 

“He can’t believe himself how many touches he’s getting and his possession stats are through the roof. That shows development, but within that he has never strayed from his strengths of heading and kicking the ball as and when it needs to be done. 

“I can look to the beginning of the season and if somebody had said to me that Wes Morgan and Robert Huth would be lifting the Premier League title as centre backs I’d have told them they were daft. You wouldn’t have expected it to happen, so credit has to go to those young men for the solid and professional way they went about things. 

“Michael has impressed himself with the way he’s played and he’s competed very well. He’s adapted to a style of play he hasn’t been used to and he’s really enjoyed it.”

And on club top scorer Jabo Ibehre, he said: “I think Jabo is another who impressed himself through the first half of the season. His injury, and the illness scare he had with his little girl, did have an impact, there’s no doubt about that. Being away from home when it was a difficult time with his new born child is something he had to adapt to. 

“I was very pleased with the conversation I had with Jabo on Monday because it confirmed that he sees his immediate future as being here. He wants to have a full season of what he showed us before Christmas. He knows there isn’t anybody in this division who can deal with him on his day and, when he’s playing well, he really can be a force to be reckoned with.” 

“As we’ve said before, we will look to incentivise players realistically and with achievable targets wherever we can,” he concluded. “There’s good money to be had with Carlisle United, but it has to be earned. We don’t want passengers here. We want hungry players who want to perform for themselves and, more importantly, for the shirt and for the club.

“Incentivised contracts are a tool to be able to promote that philosophy. They can be effective when done properly, and to suit both parties, as we’ve seen from the clauses and incentives we’ve given individuals this season.”

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