Graham Kavanagh determined to push on after getting Carlisle United job

Graham Kavanagh went from caretaker to full-time manager this week, and the former Sunderland and Middlesbrough midfielder is keen to see his Carlisle United team continue their progress

Graham Kavanagh
Graham Kavanagh

Graham Kavanagh went from caretaker to full-time manager this week, and the former Sunderland and Middlesbrough midfielder is keen to see his Carlisle United team continue their progress.

The Cumbrians have won three out of three since Kavanagh filled in for the sacked Greg Abbott.

Now he has taken his first permanent job in management, starting at Shrewsbury Town this afternoon, he will not tolerate any slacking.

“It’s in my nature to try to keep things pushing on as quickly as possible,” he said. “All through my career people have said that I have an attitude where I almost want to reinvent the wheel – and I want it done yesterday. That’s just the way I am.

“I’m very proud to be in this position and I’m not going to give it up lightly. I’m certainly not going to fail without having given it my best shot. Hopefully, with the way we do things, we won’t go too far wrong.”

Kavanagh wants his players to tread the fine line between confidence and complacency.

“There’s a lot of confidence in the group at the moment and we’re now trying to harness that so we can use it positively,” he commented.

“It’s important that the players stay in focus and do things properly.

“Just because we’ve won three games on the bounce it doesn’t mean we’re going to roll up to Shrewsbury and get all three points. Momentum is one of the biggest things in football.

“It’s also the easiest thing to crash, burn and break down so we have to make sure the mindset of the players is exactly the same as it has been for the last three games. We’ll be demanding 100% maximum effort, as we do every week.

“It’s been a good start for us as a management team, and long may that continue.

“The lads have bought into everything we’ve asked them to do and they’re getting results off the back of that.

“However, we keep reminding them that it’s not about what we’ve done in the last three games, it’s about what we do going forward from here.

“The message is a consistent one from us.

“We tell the lads that what they’ve given us today will not be good enough tomorrow. Things will get tougher from here on and it’s important that the players continue to focus and grow.”

Kavanagh’s hand has been strengthened this week by the loan signing of 22-year-old striker Nathan Eccleston from Blackpool. “Nathan will give us options,” said Kavanagh. “He’s joined us at a good time because we’ll have Mark Beck away on international duty next week and we’re waiting for Lee Miller with his (calf) injury.

“Lewis (Guy) is suffering from a bit of a throat infection as well, but we’re able to cope with all of that more by adding a player of Nathan’s quality.”

With former Everton forward Danny Cadamarteri undergoing a second knee operation, Kavanagh is still in the market for more loan signings, but the return of Troy Archibald-Henville will have to wait.

The 24-year-old had a month on loan at Brunton Park, but has since picked up a knee injury of his own.

“We’re interested in bringing him back but he’s not our player,” Kavanagh admitted.

“Once we are clear on Troy’s injury then hopefully we will be able to make a better judgement. However if he was fit, and available, then we would definitely want him back.”

Shrewsbury have won just once this season but Kavanagh does not view them as a soft touch, particularly not with two players on loan from his old club Middlesbrough.

“Adam Reach is a big, powerful winger,” he said. “He will be a threat if we allow him to be. Curtis Main can play off both feet, so he’s another one, but they have a number of players who can do a real job.

“They maybe haven’t had the results go their way so far but they are definitely a good team. It’s up to us to respect that but, at the same time, do the job properly and concentrate on our own game.

“If we do that then it’ll be a good game.”

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