DANNY HURRIED BACK TO LIFT THE SQUAD
CARLISLE manager Keith Curle believes the return of club captain Danny Grainger is a big boost for the club, even if he is limited to making an impact in the changing room rather than on the pitch.
The 30-year-old left-back sustained a knee ligament injury in December, and Curle praised the captain’s desire to be back playing after a ten-week absence.
The manager says it is vital to have big characters around the dressing room, particularly at away fixtures, with Grainger and 29-year-old defender Michael Raynes fitting the bill perfectly.
With Raynes missing their midweek fixture with Cheltenham (a 1-0 defeat), Curle was forced to bring Grainger back on to the bench ahead of schedule.
“The ideal scenario would have been not to include him (in the match day 18) on Tuesday night,” said Curle.
“However, we’re missing a big character in Michael Raynes, and I felt it was important to get Danny back and involved with the group and in the changing room arena.
“The best thing is that he’s desperate to be involved. You want to see that from your players because he just wants to be doing his bit.
“He’s had a couple of days training with the squad and that will have done him the world of good.”
“In terms of having him here at the team hotel, we felt that was particularly important, with us being without dominant characters like Michael Raynes and Jason Kennedy at the moment.
“We all know he’d have stuck to his programme, but it’s better for all concerned if he’s monitored and with the other players.
“He has a strong voice and the other lads listen to him.
“We want that type of character with us if it’s at all possible.”
VITAL: Danny Grainger