Neil McDonald Chats About The City Match

Last updated : 02 January 2007 By Thetashkentterror

Blues boss Neil McDonald
United boss Neil McDonald spoke to BBC Radio Cumbria's Derek Lacey on Monday evening as he gave his opinion on Carlisle's 1-0 win over the Bantams at Brunton Park. McDonald talking about the chance for the players to have a rest and the usual transfer news :

" It puts everybody in a good mood, we were really, really conscious of finishing off the year, through promotion and coming into a higher league, then we were even more doubly determined to start the year off as it finished. It was very good spirit, we've dug in deep, they've put us on the back-foot towards the end of the second-half I suppose. For me though it always looked comfortable, Keiren (Westwood) never really had a save to make so we're very pleased with the win and another clean sheet.

" He (Kevin Gall) is in good form, he's putting the ball in the box to give everybody a chance, and especially with his pace as well we can counter-attack. We have got the people to do that so it's excellent all round. He (Danny Graham) came in yesterday and he's trained on the training field just for 20 minutes or so, he didn't really train with the team that played against Brighton because they did a warm-down. He's come in and contributed very well so we're looking forward to having him for more games to come, he just wants to play football. The busy period takes it's toll on the rest of the players and I'm sure they've earned a couple of decent days off.

" The Paul Thirlwell deal is almost done, fingers crossed that he'll come in over the next couple of days and sign everything, the club have done fantastically well to get a top-class player from a Championship club. He's been here for three months and you've seen what he can do, we look forward to him being here for a long time. Peter Murphy is obviously still injured but we're still chatting, and Karl Hawley has shown today that he is back to form with a good goal and a good performance. We want Karl to stop as long as he keeps on scoring goals and contributing to the team, hopefully over the few weeks coming we can persuade him to stop, his goal was great play.

" We've created some really good chances and some good open play where we've given ourselves a chance to score. We've had a couple of shots where the keeper (Donovan Ricketts) has saved them or we've missed the target but they were good moves until then, that's very, very pleasing as well. 39 points so far is a cracking return and it gives us a chance to try and chase the ones in front of us. We went through a little bit of patch where we were a little bit short, we've rolled up our sleeves though and worked hard for each other and hopefully we're back on track. It was a handball by the keeper and we've got the free-kick, I wasn't too happy with Ziggy (Zigor Aranalde) taking a shot from there because we do work on free-kicks from that angle, and he's taken the responsibility to do that. I haven't got a problem with that incident though, he's got a yellow card so that's fit enough I think.

" It was a big ask for him (Neale McDermott) to play on the left of midfield and I thought he coped really well, we went to a 4-42 due to personnel really and a lack of numbers again. They've showed their fighting spirit again though and when a chance comes along, which we haven't been doing away from home but we certainly have been doing at home, we've stuck it in the back of the net. We're not playing free-flowing football like we were at the start of the season but we are still trying to do the right thing. We're creating chances and when we under a little bit of pressure the crowd do help, it's fantastic that they do, they are coming out in big numbers again. It was a good crowd again at 7,500 and if we keep on winning then that might just go up.

" He (Peter Murphy) is probably going to be out for another couple of weeks I would imagine. Kevin Harper is struggling with his calf, we're not really getting any further forward with that so we'll have a look at that over the next couple of days and see where we're at. I think there will be lots of transfer movement all over the place, everybody is trying to strengthen their team and freshen it up and we're certainly one of the teams and one of the clubs that is trying to do that.

" The twelve day break now gives a chance for the knocks to clear up. It can work both ways though, when you are winning you want the games to come thick and fast but I think everybody would like a little bit of a rest considering the games that we have played over the last couple of weeks. Goodness knows what my telephone bill is like but I've been phoning managers right, left and centre to try and strengthen the team. We've had a little bit of success hopefully with Paul Thirlwell if he signs on the dotted line and with Danny Graham coming in, and hopefully they're not the last to come in. "