No transfer window ‘gambling’ for Curle as he targets ‘quality rather than quantity’

Cobblers boss Keith Curle
Cobblers boss Keith Curle

Keith Curle has admitted his January transfer window shopping list is one of ‘quality rather than quanitity’ - and has declared he won’t be ‘gambling with somebody else’s money’.

The Cobblers boss has to date brought in just one player in left-sided defender George Cox, while strikers Kevin van Veen and Billy Waters, as well as midfielder Yaser Kasim have departed the club.

In my mind I have medium to long-term targets that I would like to bring in now, but I am not going to pay over the odds because I know the market value

Cobblers boss Keith Curle

Many observers were anticipating another frantic transfer window at the PTS Academy Stadium, with Curle getting his first chance to bring in his own players following his appointment as manager in October.

But it has been a subdued start to the month, and Curle has admitted he is prepared to be patient to ensure he gets the players he wants at the right price, and if that means waiting until the summer, then so be it.

That’s not to say the Cobblers boss is not actively looking to improve the squad, because he is, but Curle is simply not prepared to buy and sell players for the sake of it.

Asked if there was any chance of more incomings or outgoings in the next few days, Curle said: “There is always something on the horizon, and that is the beauty of the January transfer window.

“I got the biggest rollicking for a while off my missus the other day, because I wasn’t paying her any attention, or the amount of attention she thinks she deserves.

“I was glued to the phone, reading emails and texts, looking at players.

“I woke up at 6.30am on Thursday and had to give her an apology before I jumped in my car, but she understands that this is work, and every minute of the day you are trying to find that player, that piece of the jigsaw puzzle that can improve and help us.

“People might say a lot of it is time wasted, because you are chasing down avenues that ultimately end up in a no answer, but it is one of those.

“Ultimately, the more frogs that you kiss, the more chance you have of finding that prince don’t you?”

With the Cobblers stuck firmly in mid-table in Sky Bet League Two, there is perhaps not the pressing need to strengthen the squad to either chase promotion or avoid relegation.

And Curle has made it clear he won’t be testing the financial limits of chairman Kelvin Thomas and the Cobblers board, warning that January is a time of the year that clubs ‘can coime unstuck’.

“For me, it is about quality rather than quantity,” said the Town boss.

“If you want to fill a changing room full of players then I can do that with a few phone calls.

“I could go and get you 15, 20 or 30 players in, the number is endless that would represent this football club.

“But this window, in my opinion, is very much one where football managers and clubs can come unstuck by the pressure of introducing new bodies in.

“I am of the mindset that the people I bring in, I have to have seen a lot of, know a lot about, and be sure of the characteristics they are going to bring.

“I am not going to gamble with somebody else’s money, I am not going to gamble with the dynamics we have in that changing room by bringing in players that I don’t think will add the qualities I think we are going to need in the short, medium and long term.

“In my mind I have medium to long-term targets that I would like to bring in now, but I am not going to pay over the odds because I know the market value.

“I know in my mind what they should cost, and potentially what they can earn at the football club, and I am nor prepared to over-expend that because of January.

“I have spoken to the chairman, and I have spoken to James (Whiting, chief executive) and have told them how I see this January window operating for us as a football club.

“They are happy with that, they understand it.

“A lot of football clubs have previously made an error of judgement at this time of the year for different circumstances, whether they are at the top and trying to invest, or whether they are at the bottom and trying to get out of trouble.

“That can be a very expensive and costly lesson for football clubs.

“We are in a building process, and the foundations haven’t been laid yet.

“We are gathering bricks to put down, and we are mixing cement.

“But the solid foundation to allow us to build momentum is still not in place yet, so we are still looking, and we are still mixing.”