The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Sam Hawthorn

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

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