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MANAGER: We'll be working hard to add one or two

Keith Millen on the final day of the transfer window

30 January 2022

With a day left to go of the January transfer window, manager Keith Millen admitted that it had been a frustrating week with a number of targets having fallen by the wayside as the search for one or two more additions continues.

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“If you’d seen the list of attacking players we’ve gone though, you wouldn’t believe it,” he revealed. “We’ve been close a few times and missed out because of finances at times.

“Everybody is looking for attacking players, it’s an expensive market, and financially we have struggled to compete with clubs not just in our league, but the National League. Some of the wages and money in that league is unbelievable.

“We’ll carry on looking over the next couple of days, but if we don’t bring any more in then at least we can settle down and regroup a little bit.

“There’s plenty of football still to be played, we weren’t a bad team two weeks ago and we aren’t a bad team now. On the bigger picture, I’m ok with where we are, even though I’m obviously disappointed with our first-half performance on Saturday.”

“We won’t just sign somebody because the window is closing,” he added. “From day one, we’ve known the type of player we’ve needed and for different reasons we haven’t been able to get that.

“I’m trying to find someone who is different to what we’ve got. We’ve got options up front, but we need someone different. We’ll see over the next couple of days.

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“The reasons for missing out have mainly been down to finances, but it can be difficult sometimes trying to convince people to come to an area. Certainly for a London-based player, for them to come up to Carlisle, maybe for a four-month period, it’s a decision to make.

“Normally it’s because they want to go somewhere and play games, or it might be a young player that’s not played first-team football. That’s the sort of market sometimes you’re in, and you’ve got to be careful how many young players you bring in.

“There are different reasons. We’ve certainly tried as much as we can. Who knows, in the next couple of days something might drop in our favour.”

With a forward player top of the agenda, he said: “It is, and the board have said, since the last meeting we had, that if there’s a deal to be done then ask the question.

“They haven’t given me a budget or a no, and we have tried to push the budget at times, for certain forwards. The fees involved, for any forward that scores goals you find that the fee is going to be over the top in January.

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“We’ve tried a lot, whether it’s a fee or a wage package, and we’ve been close a few times. Unfortunately we’re not quite getting there, and that is very frustrating, because we know what we need.

“There’s a big list of names that we’ve just missed out on, but we’ll keep going. If it doesn’t, it’s down to me to come up with the solutions, and I don’t have a problem with that.

“The search has broadened a bit because of the real targets we missed out on. The problem you’ve got a little bit is you get a lot of players given to you, a lot of them are young players who are learning the game, that’s why they’re being given to you to give them match practice.

“You look at the ones we’ve brought in; Tyrese who’s young, Dynel who’s young, so they’re coming here to learn the game. Which is ok, but really you want someone that knows how to play that position.

“To find someone with that experience, makes the job even harder. Whether we go with a younger one that’s different to what we’ve got, we’ll have to wait and see.”

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The window shuts at 11pm on Monday night, with the manager prepared to take it to the wire, if necessary.

“I will be here until 11pm, but I’m not losing sleep,” he told us. “I’ve been frustrated because we’ve been close a few times, but I’m not that worried if I’m honest.

“I just want to work with the group I’ve got, we’ll be fine. If I can help with bringing someone in, I will. 

“We had enough in this group before the window opened to be ok. Sometimes that frustration is just like, let’s move on now and it’s down to me to find an effective way of scoring goals.

“So I’ll be ok when the window shuts. It’s unsettling for players who are already here in terms of whether they’re part of the future.

“It’s amazed me actually how many players have been moving in the lower leagues. A month ago, there are teams who looked happy with what they had, then all of a sudden they bring five or six players in to chop and change.

“It’s a strange market, so we’ll see if we can get one or two so we can settle down then look forward to Tuesday.

“As I’ve said before, we haven’t got a big squad, we haven’t got loads of players, so I certainly wouldn’t want to lose anyone going out the other way.

“We haven’t had loads of offers coming in for our players, which is good in a way. We’ll be working very hard over the next two days to see if we can bring a couple in.”


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