John Ward - Radio Cumbria Interview

Last updated : 26 January 2008 By Thetashkentterror

John Ward
United boss John Ward spoke to BBC Radio Cumbria's James Phillips on Thursday morning before the United team set off down the M6 for their match at Cheltenham, Ward talking about his latest signing in Scott Dobie from Nottingham Forest :

" I'm pleased about Scott Dobie because I don't think that anything is done until it is done. I've been in football that long now that until the actual ink is on the paper and it's dry and the player is in your football club then you keep quiet about it in my eyes. We are pleased to get Scott into the football club, he's delighted to be here. We both think that we can get his career back on track and lift him up, I'm sure it's a lift for everybody that we have got an experienced player into the club who can play in a couple of positions.

" He can be down the middle, he can play wide right, he quite happily plays wide right, he's done that throughout his career as well. We're comfortable with bringing him in and I'm absolutely certain that his experience will rub off on Joe Garner and Danny Graham and the guys upfront as well, the younger ones. We think that there is a real asset in Scott Dobie coming here.

" We've still got the bid in for Cleveland Taylor so that hasn't died away, it doesn't stop me doing that if that was to come alive again. We're pleased that Scott is happy to play there, he is comfortable being there, this is no criticism but Kevin Gall is uncomfortable in that position. Danny Carlton is uncomfortable out there, they are better down the middle and they are more suited there.

" It really is having a player that is happy there, we had a long chat about it when I met Scott a week or so ago and it was an intention of mine to talk to him about that position. He's absolutely happy if that was the place that we put him into the team, so that makes life that little bit easier for me, but again, at a club like ours, it's good to have people that can do more than one thing in the side. For that reason alone he will be a good acquisition. "

" He has been a bit forgotten in the last couple of years at Nottingham Forest and he'll tell you about that if he wants to about why that has happened. He is happy, he came in with a big smile on his face yesterday, he's back in somewhere that he is familiar with and his family are happy. When you have got a happy person, or a happy footballer in this case, then you hope that he can transmit that onto the football pitch.

" He seems very relaxed and very comfortable coming back into this football club, and very determined to come and do well. It's a good feel-good factor about Scott coming in and if we can transfer that onto the pitch in these last 20-odd games and he can help us push our position in the top six then it will be a good signing. We've given him a medical, I mentioned yesterday that if you were worried about fitness of players then you wouldn't sign Michael Owen. If he wanted to come to Carlisle then people would think that I was crackers if I said no.

" You take a wee bit of a risk with all players, when you get a player at 28 or 29 there is going to be some wear and tear on the legs of a footballer. We're happy enough though, we gave him the thorough medical yesterday and we are very happy with all the medical records that we have received off Nottingham Forest that Scott Dobie is going to be fine. He wants to get going again and it won't be for the want of trying that he does that. Fitness wise we think that he is OK.

" The line will be drawn on transfers when the transfer window is closed and I know that is a daft answer in terms of that but we'll keep pursuing areas like I have said. If we can bring another face or two in and the club can sustain that for us then we will do that. There is no secret about the three names (Joe Anyinsah, Cleveland Taylor and Richard Keogh) that we have followed and we have tried to talk about. "

" It doesn't end it all once the window closes because I think there is a week where everything is closed and then the emergency loan area can open up as well. I'm pleased so far that we have brought in three players that can all qualify for first-team positions in Evan Horwood, Grant Smith and now Scott. If we can help that with one or two more then I'll be really pleased and really think that we have got a strong enough squad in terms of numbers to sustain the position that we are in.

" You hear some of the negative voices sometimes saying that we haven't got the ambition, the club has got fantastic ambition. When you look at the position three years ago that it was in the Conference League and now are bringing in players of the ilk that we have got and the team is in the top six of this division and it finished eighth last year. There has got to be ambition, there is certainly ambition in the dressing-room, there is certainly ambition on the pitch and there is certainly ambition in the boardroom.

" At the same time though we have to make sure that the football club doesn't sink back into the area that it has already been, where it went into administration and the whole thing causes a problem. It's got to be run correctly and I'd like to think that Fred Story, his board of directors and myself on the pitch are trying to do that together. To make sure that we can try to achieve what we want to do without breaking the bank, and that is very, very important for everybody in Carlisle, not just the people at the club.

" I try to distance myself from all the personal bits and pieces about the Cheltenham game. I've never talked to my players about that, I'll go back and see a lot of good friends, when you have been four years at a football club you make friends. We tend to be like ships passing in the night sometimes, we wander off and then make acquaintances. I feel that I have got some very good friends at Cheltenham so on a personal level it will be good to see them. "

" On a professional level though we will all be united in trying to win the game for our football club, both at Cheltenham and here at Carlisle. My job is here at Carlisle, everyone understands that and I want to win that game, it would give us another three points in our quest to stay in the top six. Afterwards there will be a nice glass of wine somewhere I'm pretty sure and we can chat about old times. Between 7.45pm and onwards we have got to try to win a football match, and my focus will certainly be on that.

" They'll know about me but I know quite a lot about Cheltenham as well so they might be wondering the same sort of thing. I don't think that matters, it works on your players on the night, they are not going to have any more players than us and we're not than them. It's a question of if we can get eight, nine, ten or even eleven of our players on good form at Cheltenham then we have got a good chance of winning the game.

" Keith Downing will be saying the same to his players, they have beaten Leeds at home this season and they have won their last three matches without conceding a goal. In some ways when you look at our away form that maybe puts them in as favourites and puts them in charge of this game. I know, and I'll be putting that to my players, that Cheltenham Town raise themselves for big games and they'll see this as a big game.

" Carlisle United are a scalp now in this division, so it's important that we hang in there and make sure that we know how to deal with that when we go to clubs like this. It's a super club, it's a great pitch, it's a lovely place to play, particularly on a Friday night with the lights on. When you are running out there, whatever shirt you are wearing you should relish that opportunity. We will be pushing that to our team and saying that it is a super place to be so let's go and make the most of it. "