A very active ending to the summer window saw defenders Jonathan Dinzeyi and Kelvin Mellor join winger Jordan Gibson in the building, with the manager now looking forward to working with his new recruits as we kick into the second month of the campaign.
“I’m really pleased we got Jonathan,” he said. “Without giving too much away, we played Sheffield United and played well against them, and they actually spoke to David [Holdsworth] about how we represented ourselves in the game and how we did on and off the pitch.
“They said if there’s anything we could do for you, get on the phone and get in touch. We had earmarked a couple of opportunities within their ranks that played that night that could have helped and supported us moving forwards.
“Unfortunately for them they then hadn’t recruited who they wanted and decided to keep those players in their building. That’s what happens.”
“We also had lots of irons with all sorts of different opportunities,” he continued. “It often comes down to many things, but generally finance, there’s no getting away from that.
“Even in loans – a lot of clubs want loan fees and different penalty fees if they’re not playing. I was really pleased when we got to the point after the Hartlepool fixture that we managed to recruit somebody that’s got great composure, good, established schoolboy football, been an England international, played with Morgan in the same England team.
“Morgan’s been his skipper, which is good, it means he knows somebody here. To get him here at that late notice, after I’d spoken with him, he was very respectful and honoured to have an opportunity to play for Carlisle.”
At the other end of the spectrum in terms of experience is Kelvin Mellor, who knows what getting promoted from this division is all about.
“I joked the other day, but it’s true, there’s only Jon Mellish and Gavin Skelton left since the first day I walked into work here at Brunton Park,” the manager commented. “Today we don’t have to unpick everything, but that’s fact.
“That tells you there’s always lots of change here, so I have to make sure I’m ready or change. Within that and what we’re trying to achieve, because I’m very hungry and ambitious to win and do well, is I recruited young, hungry, ambitious players.
“With the Tanner situation I had 36 hours to maximise the situation, and Kelvin’s a player I’d spoken to before, even before I’d spoken to George the previous window. Kelvin at the time felt he could get financially a better package and logistics nearer home.
“In terms of that summer and Covid he couldn’t quite achieve that, even though he’s an established footballer that’s been promoted and played for big clubs. He ended up taking a Morecambe option which worked out well for him.
“He got a new contract after what he’d done for them in the summer, to be a League One footballer. I’m really pleased we’ve been able to get involved with him.
“He’s a very, very professional person that gives us a different aspect. I’m probably thinking nobody’s going to buy him because of his age, but at the same part you never know.
“I do know we’ll have value for Saturday’s three points and a committed, older, experienced professional who is still very fit.”
“And obviously right back was an area we wanted to look at,” he continued. “You saw Danny Devine play great the other day, there were a couple of things I wasn’t quite happy with, that first goal Hartlepool scored from the first time they attacked us with any vigour.
“Ultimately he played very well but he is still feeling his leg slightly. When he came to speak to me in the game, around 70 minutes or so, he said he felt he was cramping up and stuff, so we took him off as a precaution.
“Ultimately he’s available to play that position if fit. You can see in our squad we’ve got variance. The lad you were talking about before, Jack Armer, you were giving him massive accolades when he played right back for us.
“There are different things you can do. Kelvin’s a very established defender and we’ll maximise the opportunity that he’s arrived as a right back.”
Looking further up the pitch is the attack minded Jordan Gibson.
“I’m looking forward to playing with him, I’ve seen him play quite a few times,” he explained. “He reminds me of a younger David Worrall, probably not as consistent, but has the ability to gain half a yard and cross a ball.
“He has the ability to make something happen that isn’t quite there. He’s an intelligent football player that can link, move, pass, receive, be positive and take chances, but of course he needs to make sure he’s Football League ready.
“It's far different to playing in Ireland, not being disrespectful to Irish football, and he’s already noted that. In our first training session on Tuesday, with his hands on his knees, thinking holy moly, here we go.
“We’ve got to be fair to him too, to adjust, along with Jonathan, but we’ve got to make sure he adds to what we do on Saturdays. The bigger picture for me is an attacking player who is providing assists and goals.”