Keith Curle on the recent transfer window activityManager Keith Curle spoke to us about the recent transfer window activity at his Thursday afternoon press conference.
“I think as a squad and a football club we’re stronger now than what we were going into the window, and certainly going into the final day,” he said. “The situation with the budget was that I had to be creative, and sometimes that isn’t easy.
“I maximised what was available and I had to move finances towards the areas where I thought it was most needed. It’s all part and parcel of it because there isn’t an endless pit of money. We’re in a situation at the club where finances are tight and I’m respectful of the fact that I need to use the money wisely.
“We are going to have the smallest squad in the Football League – I don’t think anybody will be operating with a squad of our size – but I do think we’re in a good position with having quality over quantity, because we can still be very competitive.”
“We actually came very close to getting more signings over the line on deadline day,” he revealed. “With one of them, I tried to negotiate a deal for him to come out on loan but the parent club were insistent that we had to take over his contract full time or it was no deal.
“He was surplus to requirements at that club and he was a due a pay rise, so we thought that would work in our favour as well. It wasn’t to be, because the parent club decided they could swallow that and keep him on their books. That was disappointing from my point of view because he was a player I wanted.
“There were a number of different scenarios and it’s never ideal to be going shop on the last day of the window. We had to do it this time and I have to say thank you to the staff who made themselves available and who worked into the night, because it isn’t just about me. Other people helped to make things happen as well.”
With the window now closed, he spoke about the option of looking at free agents to help to add to the numbers over the coming weeks.
“You’ll find now that those players who didn’t get the moves they wanted will have taken up the option of having their contracts cancelled,” he told us. “There are some names being bandied around as being available, so we’re going to organise a game for next Tuesday so we can take a look at them.
“In the mean time we’ve brought some very good players into the squad. The additions we made on Tuesday bring a level of physicality, ability, quality and desire. George [Waring] has good feet for a big lad and he likes to be working in the box. He has a level of aggression where he likes to win first contact, and he has an eye for goal.
“Jamie Proctor was a massive signing for us because we were competing with eleven other football clubs for his signature - seven of them from the first division. We had to compete in a bidding war because he’s on good wages and we had to be able to attract him despite that. We had a lot of phone calls going on to make sure that we were seen as an option for him and we were able to do the same via his agent, once we’d been given permission to make an approach. Thankfully he liked what he heard about where we want to go with this club and we got it over the line.”
Speaking about the departure of Charlie Wyke, he said: “I’ll be honest, I wanted more money for the football club. With the amount of goals he scored in such a short period of time, I thought his value wasn’t fulfilled. I feel we could have got more money for him if circumstances within his contract had been different.
“However, they were there for a reason and his representative will say that he did his job. It was still good business for us because we bought him for £20,000 and sold him for in excess of a quarter of a million pounds, even though there was a small sell-on clause for Middlesbrough included. Like I say, good business in a short period of time, but disappointing from the aspect you felt there were more goals in Charlie.
“Now we have the injury to Jason Kennedy it means we’ve taken 29 goals out of our team in the space of a week. However, we’ve brought in some good forward thinking players and it’s down to how quickly I can bed them into the squad and get them playing the way we want them to play within our framework.”
Adding more on the current injury situation, he said: “Jason [Kennedy] won’t be available this weekend. He’s in Dolly’s hands. He’s had a scan and he’ll need further advice from a specialist. Dolly is looking at which specialist that will be and hopefully that will be sorted in the next couple of days.
“Shaun Brisley is recovering all the time and he’s another who has had a scan. Thankfully it wasn’t as bad as we first felt it would be, so it’s touch and go as to whether or not he’ll be available for Saturday.”
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