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MANAGER: We are very much 'on it'

16 May 2016

Keith Curle talks about the search for new signings

Manager Keith Curle confirmed today that work is well under way as he looks to add new faces to the squad ahead of the start of the new season in August.

“Colin [West], Lee [Dykes] and I are on it, to coin a phrase,” he said. “We’re looking to continue the progression we feel is needed at this club. We’ve gone from being a football club that was on the back end of a relegation dog fight to being a team sat comfortably in mid-table. 

“We don’t want that to be the end of it. We want to get out of this division in the right direction, so more stepping stones need to be put in place. A budget has been created whereby we have some manoeuvrability to bring players in who we think will continue the progression with us.”

“I spoke to a player last Monday who came down to see us from north of the border,” he added. “It was my first meeting with him and he’s one I’ve seen play recently. Lee [Dykes] has seen him play several times and we’ve been doing our background checks on him. 

“I felt it was important that I met the player so I had a good 45 minutes with him. He was able to outline his characteristics and he spoke about what has brought him to where he is in his career, and what his aspirations are if he was able to gain a contract with us. 

“It’s very important to me that I see driven, hungry people coming through my door. I think the club is seen to be on an upward spiral and there’s a buoyancy and bounce about the place. That will help us to attract good players who want to play for this club.”

Speaking about the need to turn some of the 16 draws the club notched up into victories, he said: “There are key attributes we’ve missed, at times. I think we can all look at five, or six or possibly even more, of those draws and pinpoint where we did enough to have taken them to victories.

“We need a bit of pace and dynamics in midfield. We’ve been able to handle ourselves but we haven’t been able to give people chasings. I’m looking for dynamic midfield players who will be challenging people like Jason Kennedy and Luke Joyce. They are players who I think have had very good, solid seasons but I want to bring competition in. 

“Likewise we look at the productivity from wide areas. Have we got enough crosses into the box and have we been creative enough in the final third? Have we shown enough killer instinct up front? I want to bring in two strikers, two wide players and midfield players. I want another centre back and a goalkeeper ... but I want doesn’t always get. All I can say is I know there’s a need for us to add to the group with certain types of player.”

“It’s about getting the balance right,” he concluded. “The ideal scenario would be to have and only use 18 players, then that would be fantastic. I could give all of them more pitch time. Unfortunately it can’t be like that, so we will build our squad accordingly, and there will also still be room for development projects. 

“When I say that, I don’t necessarily mean just 18 or 19 year olds. It can be players of any age who, in my opinion, haven’t developed to their full potential.

“Sometimes you look at a player and you think he can be better or he can improve his game by being played in different positions. You can have lads who play out wide, but you can see them giving more as a central player. 

“That happened to Kyle Dempsey. He was out wide when I came here but we saw another side to him when we brought him inside. I think there always has to be room to develop players and, if it all comes together, they can become key players because they add to what you already have in the mix.”

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