Manager Keith Curle spoke more about the importance of Saturday’s three points with just 19 league games to go and a determination to be involved in the play-off mix-up come May.
“We aren’t where we want to be in the league because we want to continue our upward curve,” he said. “We aren’t where the supporters want us to be either, which is understandable, because following on from last year they would want us to be in the top four or five in this division.
“I don’t mind managing expectations and my belief is that we can be operating in the top eight or ten consistently. Who knows where you can end up once you’re in there.”
Possibly key to adding momentum to a push up the table is the club’s January transfer window activity, with the manager already actively in talks with a number of players and their agents.
“I’ve identified the areas I’m looking to strengthen but we know we’re competing with clubs who are looking for the same skill sets,” he explained. “I’ve been priced out already on a couple of occasions, but that shows that we’re looking for the right calibre of person.
“Sometimes you just need to keep fishing, and that’s when you might catch the one you want. In the early and middle part of the window we’re competing with other football clubs for the same players. That shows we’re looking at the right players, but unfortunately you find that other football clubs have got other attractions.
“Not only financial, but location and position in the league. Players look at those factors because they’ve got to be selfish and they want to go somewhere where they can be successful.”
“I’ve had permission to speak to two players and we’ve had good conversations with them and their representatives,” he revealed. “I’ve been able to give them an idea of what we can do financially.
“I’ve been completely blown out of the water on one of them, but that’s no disgrace to myself or the football club. It’s just that the other clubs involved have got more spending power than ourselves.”
“Players will get snapped us as we get closer to the end of the window, but we’ve posted our interest and we’re waiting to hear back about certain players,” he commented. “There will be other players who will become available the longer the window, but we’re waiting for the right calibre of individual to add positively to our group.”
On the return of midfielder Luke Joyce to the fold, who made career appearance number 450 against Crewe, he said: “It was touch and go whether we played Luke today. He’d had two days training, and one of those was the preparation day on Friday where we don’t do a lot of physical work.
“I decided to involve him in the squad and use him if the situation warranted it. Luke does the simple things very well and sometimes doesn’t get the credit he deserves. It was pleasing to have his skillsets on the bench which meant we were able to change the game.”
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