Keith Curle on the signings of Nicky Adams and Joe McKee
Manager Keith Curle admitted that this week that he was pleased to get some important transfer business done so early in the summer break but, as expected, he also confirmed that there is still a lot more to do in the coming weeks.
“To get the players here to actually put pen to paper is the pinnacle, but there’s been a lot of work done to get them to this point,” he said. “It’s good to be in this position, but we're still working on other signings we're trying to bring into the club.
“It's always nice when hard work pays off and you get the player and his agent up to Brunton Park to complete the paperwork. Once a player is signed, sealed and delivered you know it's a box ticked.”
“Both players have been on our radar for a while,” he revealed. “They've been monitored and we've watched them. We've got good information on them and I've met both of them, which is something I have to do.
“Character and personality wise I only want to sign players who have got a good understanding of me. They also need to know what I try to bring to the football club and what I think they can bring to the mix.
“I need to like the players I sign. They've got to have a hunger and desire because I need to be successful. There's a difference between needing to be successful and wanting to be successful. This season is about us continuing our progression, which means we need to finish well above where we finished last season.”
On midfielder Joe McKee, he said: “Joe is a ball playing, tenacious midfield player. He'll cover every single blade of grass and he's got a willingness to play. He doesn't play with any fear, he's brave and committed. He's been down to England before and you could probably say things didn't go his way at the clubs he was at.
“He went back to Scotland, where he needed to play games, and he did that in a very competitive league. I think he's always had the feeling that he underachieved and that England didn't see his full potential. He's coming here with a point to prove. I haven't got a problem with his ability but his challenge will be getting in the team and staying in the team.
“Joe is ready to play, but he's got to earn the right. We've already got two good central midfield players in Luke Joyce and Jason Kennedy, so the standard has been set. There isn't one player who will turn up for pre-season training with a guaranteed starting place. That demonstrates the competitive edge the squad will take. I don't do favourites because I like everybody I've signed and everybody who is at the football club.
“My remit now is to put out winning teams with a very competitive edge, allied with the quality and ability to win games and stop us from getting beat.”
And on experienced wide man Nicky Adams, he said: “We tried to sign Nicky in January,” he told us. “We spoke to his agent, and to Northampton, but it was just before the start of their unbelievable run.
“We looked at Nicky because of the problems Northampton were having before Christmas with the players not being paid. We saw it as an opportunity but their situation was sorted and they went on their fantastic run. During that process we made good contacts and good links.”
Speaking about how we got our man this time round, he said: “Nicky saw his progression with us. He's a good age and he's a very mature young lad, but he's still got a thirst and desire to play football. We've done our business in the right way.We kept it in-house as much as possible and there aren't many people who would have known about his availability.
“He’s one who can play in various positions. He can play on the left, right or in the middle. He can play as a narrow midfielder and he has the ability to go past players. If we can maintain his delivery and assist record, whilst also continuing his progression, he's going to add goals and a goal threat for us.”
With two promotions in the last two seasons, with Bury and Northampton, the new arrival certainly comes with some impressive statistics to back up his ability.
“Nicky has got promotions on his CV so he knows what it takes,” Curle commented. “Sometimes you need that in the changing room. There are times when you need that level of experience when things aren't going your way.
“Likewise, when things are going well, you need the right characters in there to maintain it and keep it going. We've created little bits of momentum without being able to maintain it for different reasons and that has to change.
“There was no fee involved but there have been good conversations between the clubs. That helps at the upper level because my conversations were only about football and me selling the club. We've brought a very good player here and that is down to the conversations which have taken place above me.”
“As I say, it’s pleasing to get it done and dusted,” he concluded. “If it had been broadcast I think every team in League Two would have looked to acquire his services, and a large percentage of League One clubs would have gladly signed him. For myself and the recruitment department I think it's a huge step in the right direction.
“Nicky and Joe both have good qualities and they add value to this football club. I think they'll both add to what we've got.”
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