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MANAGER: The transfer window is always an interesting time

3 January 2017

Keith Curle on Gillesphey, Atkinson, Penn and the window

Manager Keith Curle confirmed at his post-match press conference on Monday that talks with Macaulay Gillesphey and his representatives are ongoing as he looks to extend the Newcastle United defender’s stay at Brunton Park.

Gillesphey has made 22 appearances for the Blues this season and has featured at centre back and left back through United’s excellent start to the campaign.

“We’ve just got to talk to Macaulay to get an idea of his thoughts and we also need to get the go ahead from his club,” he said. “We’ve had very positive dialogue with Newcastle so it’s now purely down to the player and his agent to decide that this is place for him to continue his progression.

“I like Macaulay, that’s why he’s here in the first place, and we think he likes playing his football here with us as well. It’s one where we want to know where we’re at so we’ll keep the lines of communication open and we’ll see where it takes us.”

On the return of right back Dave Atkinson from his loan spell at Blyth, he said: “David has gone out and done exactly what we needed him to do. He needed game time because he’d missed a large bulk of pre-season.

“He’d been playing catch up with us and he’s much happier now because he’s had valuable pitch time. The opportunity is there for him now to come back in and stake a claim.

“That’s the same with Russ Penn because the only thing he was missing with us was 90 minutes of football every week. I know Gateshead were very happy with him and it’s now a case of whether or not they want to make another offer to take him back on loan. The decision will then rest on whether I’m happy to let him go.”

“The transfer window is always an interesting time,” he commented. “We’re looking to bring players in who I think can get into the starting eleven and make it an even more competitive squad than it already is.

“I’ll have to be creative within that because the squad we have is smaller than it was, but the revenue expenditure has increased because of the quality levels we brought in. That approach has paid dividends but there’s still a little bit of wriggle room if we decide we need to use it.”

“The players all know they are constantly being assessed,” he told us. “I spoke to them last week to tell them there’s going to be a review of the football department as a whole, which will be carried out by me.

“I’ll be looking at it to see how individuals are performing, and as a collective to assess what we’ve done, what we’ve got and where we’re going. There have been things I’ve seen that I like, but there are still things behind the scenes I don’t like.

“There are areas where I think my staff and players can still improve. Part of my job is that when I identify something I think I can change for the better, I’ve got to try and implement it. Sometimes all it takes is a conversation with someone to say where I think they can add even more to what we’re all trying to achieve.

“That’s a review which will take place in the New Year, and it includes managing upwards as well. I need to make sure the relationships I have with senior stakeholders are right. That way we can make sure we’re all pulling in the same direction.”

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