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INTERVIEW: Hopefully he'll stand out for us

31 January 2017

Assistant manager Lee Dykes on the signing of John O'Sullivan

Joint assistant manager Lee Dykes spoke to us on Monday afternoon about the work done to secure the signing of new arrival John O’Sullivan over the course of the last two weeks.

“John is a player we've admired for quite a while,” he said. “He's got good pedigree from his time at Blackburn Rovers and he's had some good loan spells where he's been tested in different ways.

“When he first went to Accrington there was a lot of talk about him and Blackburn were turning down six figure bids for him, and quite rightly so, because they had high hopes for him.

“He’s gone on to get more experience since then and we’re pleased that we’ve managed to get him. He’s gained good knowledge with loan spells at Barnsley, Bury and Accrington and he adds new skill sets to our group.”

“He’s a player who will bring different dynamics to the squad and we think he’ll be a really positive addition for us,” he continued. “He’s match ready, which is important, and I’m sure he’s had a few offers since it came up on Sky Sports News that he’d been released a few weeks ago.

“I know he’s had interest from a higher division but we got in there quite early, as we like to do. His agent has been fantastic, as has the player, and it became obvious from early on that they’d done their homework on us.

“Likewise, we’ve done our due diligence on John and from a playing perspective he’s one that whenever you watch him, he stands out. Hopefully he'll stand out for us. He’s the kind of player where when a game is tight he will help to give us that match winning mentality.”

“We think his arrival will help to give everybody a bit of a lift,” he commented. “I can see him being a fans’ favourite. It’s all on him now to get into the squad and to force his way into the side.

“Along with him, we’ve already identified areas of his game to develop because we feel we can take him on to the next level. That’s why we’ve taken him on a permanent deal. Let’s be honest, getting a player of his calibre out of Blackburn at his age is a tremendous coup.”

“Fair play to the owners and Nigel Clibbens, and Keith, because we’ve worked hard as a group to get this over the line,” he said. “We knew about the offers he had from a higher division, but he knows what he wants to do and he feels he can do it for a prolonged period of time here with Carlisle United.

“He shares our ambition and it’s good to have him joining us at this stage of the season.”

On the work still to be done on transfer deadline day, he said: “We have quite a few irons in the fire and you can never tell what’s going to happen. For one reason or another we haven’t been able to get things done early, which we do like to do, and we’ve had to wait until now to make things happen.

“We’re hoping that potentially a couple of others will follow on from what we’ve done here. We always work two or three windows in advance because we have it in our minds where we could be and where we should be. We’re in a good place at the moment, we’re third in the division, and new arrivals now will help to give us the impetus to carry that on.”

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