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MANAGER: He's shown great commitment by not going away

Steven Pressley on Hallam Hope turning down an international call-up

10 October 2019

United boss Steven Pressley revealed today that striker Hallam Hope has turned down the opportunity to play for his country during the current international fixture window, choosing instead to stay with the Blues for the important run of Saturday-Tuesday fixtures ahead.

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Hope, who missed United’s game against Exeter at the start of the September when he represented Barbados in two international games, will be available for Saturday’s game against having had a long discussion with the Carlisle manager.

“He was selected for going away, and I spoke to him in depth regarding his situation,” Pressley said. “As I’ve said before, Hallam is fully committed to this club and he’s again shown great commitment by not going away on international duty.

“He’s spoken to the Barbados manager and to the people in charge there and he expressed that he wanted to stay here and continue playing for this club. Because of that he’s now fully available for us this weekend.”

With the forward having returned from his last spell with Barbados as a Carlisle United player, despite links with a move away from the club during the summer, the manager added: “I said this just after he got back last time, but he looks like a player who is now really focused on doing well here.

“He’s full of energy, he’s training really well and he looks more involved with the group again. I think he’s settled and that’s important for a person like Hallam.

“Turning down the chance to go on international duty shows everybody his level of commitment at this moment in time, and we’re really pleased with that. It says a lot about him and about the group.

“They’re a really good group that want to do well, and I know people were questioning Hallam’s commitment through the summer with the rumours and links with certain moves.

“I understand that in football people and supporters want players to play for their club. But as a player I’ve been there before, and if the opportunity arises to play at a higher level, and for you to earn more money, then naturally you’re going to be interested. It’s normal, it’s life. I would expect any ambitious player to be that way.

“The one thing is that he’s shown a commitment, since the close of the window, to this club. His attitude has been amazing and he’s a different character about the place. Turning down the opportunity to go on international duty says everything about where his head is at this moment. I’m really encouraged by that.”

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