Cobblers boss Keith Curle says player movement in and out of the PTS Academy Stadium in the January transfer window will be dictated by ‘good housekeeping’.
The past few transfer windows have been very busy ones for Town, with various managers trying to put their own stamp on squads they have inherited from others.
Since Chris Wilder left the club in May, 2016, Rob Page, Justin Edinburgh, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Dean Austin have all made moves to put their own identity on the club, with varying degrees of success.
Signings made by all of those managers remain at the club, and it would be easy for Curle to demand he now brings his own players in.
The Town boss has made regular reference to the fact he is currently working with somebody else’s jigsaw, having taken over from Austin in October, but the 55-year-old has suggested it is going to be a case of evolution rather than revolution, certainly as far as this transfer window is concerned.
There has been movement in the first week of 2019, with Kevin van Veen, who was one of the club’s top earners, being sold back to Scunthorpe United and Yaser Kasim having his contract cancelled, while George Cox has come in on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion.
We are always looking, but I think the important thing from this window is that you always have to have one eye on good housekeeping. I have inherited a squad that is quite sizeable in numbers, and a very healthy budget that is used up by the players that are hereCobblers boss Keith Curle
And it may well be the case that players are going to have to be moved on before others are brought in.
Asked what other business the Cobblers fans can expect the club to do ahead of January 31, Curle was, unsurprisingly, not giving too much away, and he hinted he may be happy to work with the majority of what he has until the summer at least.
“We are always looking, but I think the important thing from this window is that you always have to have one eye on good housekeeping,” said the Town boss.
“I have inherited a squad that is quite sizeable in numbers, and a very healthy budget that is used up by the players that are here.
“Trying to add to that budget is not easy, but it is made easier with players going in a different direction.
“Part of the housekeeping is there a player here who can get more game time elsewhere and further their careers?
“That would then make the job easier, but we have a competitive squad for where we are.”
The sale of top scorer van Veen was one that took most people by surprise, but Curle reiterated his belief that allowing the Dutchman to leave was in the best interests of all concerned.
“When I came to the football club I was told about Kevin, and I knew about him and his skill-sets,” said Curle.
“He is a very interesting character and not your normal, stereotypical footballer, and the more I got to know him, I got to quite like him, because he is different.
“Kevin is a player that, on the field, everybody can identify the areas within his game that are very good.
“But a lot people will also identify there are certain aspects of his game that needed to improve, and I think they were improving.
“But as I said before, transfers out of the football club will have to be right for club, right for the player and right for myself, and if all of those boxes are ticked then the deals will happen.
“That was a situation where every single box was ticked, all parties were happy, and we wish Kevin well.”