With the managerial situation sorted the focus, as we head through the final week of the season, will naturally turn towards the playing side of the business and the shape the squad will take as we look towards the 2022/23 campaign.
“There’s going to be a change in the squad,” Paul Simpson confirmed. “There are a lot of players who are out of contract, and it’s only in the last week or so that I’ve had a look at that situation.
“It won’t be the case that everybody is going to be released, there will be players who we will try to keep, and hopefully we can agree terms with those players.
“It may be that they don’t want to be here, and we can’t agree terms, I’ve no idea on that. We haven’t had any of those conversations yet.
“We’re into that scenario now where there’ll be conversations to be had, but I’m not even sure if ‘ll do it before Bradford, if I’m going to be honest with you.
“I haven’t got enough players for me to be upsetting people by telling them I’m going to release them.
“We have to have enough bodies in the building to put a team out for the final two games, which is really important.
“Those conversations will go on, there’ll be discussions between myself, the staff and Nigel, and me and Nigel Clibbens have got to build up a working relationship and make sure we do as many things right as we possibly can.
“I accept that we’ll probably make some mistakes along the way, but hopefully not many.”
“I’ve reminded the lads a few times that they’re always playing for a contract and their careers,” he continued. “They’re scrutinised in everything they do.
“I’m the same, I have training filmed and I know I sound like a real saddo but I’ll go home and watch that back, just to see how things look.
“For me, they should have pride in themselves as a professional to want to perform to the highest standard anyway.”
On the current staff, he commented: “That’s another set of conversations we’re going to have to have. I have ideas about what I want, and what I want it to look like.
“It would be wrong of me to sit here now and speak about that, because there are conversations we need to have over the coming weeks to get a staff in place who I believe can give our players, whoever those players may be, the best chance of being ready to play on a Saturday or a Tuesday and to go out and do the best that they possibly can.
“That side of things should become much clearer over the next ten days or so.”
“What I do want is a head of recruitment,” he confirmed. “The budget has been confirmed for that, and that needs to be somebody experienced.
“I have a few people in mind who I’m speaking to. I want that because then they can filter hosts of names that I don’t need to be concerning myself with, and make sure us as an immediate football staff are looking at the real targets and we can go about it that way, rather than having reams of players.
“We can be a little bit more selective, and I don’t need them to be living in Carlisle, it’s not a job they need to be in the building here, or out seven nights a week watching games.
“In this wonderful world now where you can watch games on video, you can separate the not so good from the good ones and really target.
“That’s my main priority, to get that, and then the immediate football staff in here I will look at that and make sure we have a group of staff that I believe will take us forward.”
And an issue for every manager every year is the training facilities as the weather begins to rule out venues and pitches, both at the ground and remotely.
“Unfortunately we can’t move the rivers in Carlisle, they’re always going to be there, and there’ll always be that risk of flooding,” he said. “I’ll say this again, we haven’t got a bottomless pit of money at this football club.
“We can’t suddenly say, ok, your budget’s at X but we’re going to give you another three X’s. It doesn’t work that way, we’re not in that position.
“We have to just work with what we’ve got. There’s a really good pitch out there at the back, when it’s not flooded, and we have Creighton which we can also use.
“There are artificial pitches in the area that we can use, so we have to just get on with it. This is no different to anywhere else.
“I’ve been really fortunate to have been at football clubs that have got lovely training grounds, and I’ve just left Bristol City who have moved into a magnificent £15m training facility, but we don’t have that.
“There’s no point in bleating about wanting more money that we haven’t got, because we haven’t got it, so that’s end of story. What we have to do is use what we have got, but hopefully use it better.
“I have this thing about excuses and reasons, and I think that if you’re complaining about training facilities then it’s an excuse. It’s not a reason for failing, it’s just an excuse.
“We have to work and get on with what we do have. When I was an apprentice at Man City we trained on tarmac on the car park if it was frosty. It didn’t do me any harm, and I’m not suggesting that we’ll do that here, but you just have to get on with it.
“When we flooded the last time I was here, we trained for about two months in the Neil Centre, so you make it work. We’re in a decent position, we’ve got a grass pitch, and we’ve got to make it work as well as we can.”
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