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MANAGER: I still want one or two more

Keith Millen on the ongoing January transfer window

14 January 2022

With three in as we reach the halfway point of the January transfer manager Keith Millen confirmed at his Thursday afternoon press conference that he still wants more new faces - but not just for the sake of it.

“I think we need more,” he said. “I still want one or two more. They need to be players who are really going to come in and make a difference.

“I’ve said from day one that we don’t need numbers, we’ve got a good squad, but if I can bring in something a little bit different then I’ll look at it, and the club are allowing me to look at it.

“If they tell me that’s it done now, no problem, but they haven’t said that. That means that while the market is open, I’m open to what’s out there, but it does need to be something that will help us to keep improving.”

“It’s not so much positions that I need to strengthen at the moment, I don’t think,” he added. “Previously everyone knew we needed to freshen up the front line because we hadn’t scored enough goals.

“It’s no secret we needed to bring in more attacking players to give us a threat and hopefully score more goals. I feel we’ve addressed that.

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“Now my focus more is to see if there’s a player or two that we maybe don’t expect, or one you think wow, we can’t turn that one down. That’s more my thinking now.

“It still has to be the right type of player, the right profile. I’m not going to change the way we play or what we’ve been doing the last two months, but if there was someone that stood out who we had a chance of, I would look at that.

“I’m not going to say we need this or that, it’s more the quality of player that might become available.”

As for players going the other way, he said: “Generally you find when you’re brought players in tat agents, clubs, players pick up on it.

“They start to ask - have I still got a future, where am I, where are they in my plans. I’ll always tell them where I see it, whether I see them competing, whether I see their pathway blocked, what’s best for them, certainly the younger lads especially.

“If they’re not on the bench for the first team they need to go and play men’s football, for their own development. We will be looking at that as a club.

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“We need to get some players out and playing, because the squad’s suddenly becoming too big.”

And speaking again about the players added so far, he commented: “I’m delighted with all three of them.

“Omari knows a lot of the group anyway, so that’s quite an easy comfortable one for him to fit back in. Tyrese, I always think as a player when you go to a new club, if you get off to a good start that really helps you settle into somewhere.

“The way Tyrese played on Saturday, is the perfect start for him. He’s moved in, we’ve managed to get him settled somewhere to live, which is important. He’s in a good place.

“And Joel, he’s a quality player who adds real competition because he’s hungry to be involved. Look at the impact because I think that was probably Kelvin’s best game on Saturday. He’s been consistent but overall that was his best game.

“Whether that is because someone else has come in to compete, great, that’s what you want. If it makes him a better player we’re all happy. That’s why you need competition for places, otherwise players get into a little routine and don’t really push themselves.

“Joel has come in, settled in, he travels with some of the players, so he’s got to know them well, he’s had the taster against Harrogate and he played really well in our practice game on Tuesday.

“He showed signs of what I want as an athletic full-back, he understands, like a lot of them, they’ve got to be a little bit patient because when you’ve won three games on the spin normally you don’t change too much.

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“They might have to be a little bit patient and make sure they’re ready when the time comes.”

With the front line spruced up and revitalised, he talked through the manner of the Patrick signing, which went from zero to signed in very quick time.

“It actually happened quite quickly and obviously everyone knew him here, so when his name came up I looked into it,” he told us. “That was one we weren’t necessarily expecting, but it was a pleasant surprise that there might be an option there.

“The process took over and I think everyone I speak to is delighted that we were able to get it done. The Carlisle fans enjoyed having him here before, so my first question to him was to ask him why he wanted to come back.

“I wanted to make sure it wasn’t just because he likes the place, or the club, it’s more where he sees himself on the football pitch that matters to me. He explained what he wants going forward and he wants to be part of something successful. Hopefully that’s what I can give him.

“He had the perfect start on Saturday and he was unlucky because when you look at the offside decision that was given just before he scored you see that the linesman made a poor decision. He’d had a bad five minutes and it was a poor decision because Omari would have got a goal from that as well.”

“Both him and Tyrese give us more options,” he said. “It’s pure pace, even though both have more to their games than that.

“We saw on Saturday that they’re going to beat people, and I think that’s something we’ve needed. They add an extra dimension to what we’re doing and they fit the profile of the type of forward I was looking for.

“Omari can play in a wide area, he played in a front three when he was here, and he’s also played in a front two. With his pace and power I don’t want hm defending on the edge of our box, I want him as close to their goal as possible.

“I’ve had a week with him now where I’m getting to know him, he’s getting to know me, and he’s still getting over Covid, so he’s not 100%, he’s got a little bit of an after-effect from that. I’m delighted to have them both here.”


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