Manager answers ‘negativity’ surrounding transfer moves

Berwick manager Johnny Harvey says he is committed to boosting his squad and eliminating the negativity which has surrounded the club during the January transfer window.

Tuesday, 5th February 2019, 9:36 am
Updated Tuesday, 5th February 2019, 9:40 am

Harvey has seen two regular first team players - Paul Willis and Aaron Murrell leave the club, whilst strike pair Callum Anderson and Tunisian Ahmed Aloulou have been added to his Shielfiekd squad.

Willis, who us the club’s leading goal scorer this season, has joined fellow Scottish Second Division outfit and title championship hopefuls Peterhead,, whilst striker Murrell has had his contract terminated.

Harvey said: “I feel this is an important communication to our fans to give you an idea of where we are at going into the final few months of the season.

“As a manager you try to block out any negativity that surrounds the club and you especially try and protect your players from that negativity.

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“It has been flagged to me that some supporters are unhappy at the players leaving on deadline day and no apparent replacements coming in. I can confirm that everyone at the club is committed to improving our squad if the correct players are available.

“It has been well documented how difficult a market the January transfer window can be and we can certainly confirm that.

“It is my belief that as a manager you try and get players in before you move players on if it’s possible to do so. Over the last 10 days we have brought in Callum Adamson and Ahmed Aloulou. These two players fill me with great hope for the remainder of the season. Both bring pace, power and have an eye for goal.

“Having signed both these players it then gave me the opportunity to allow Aaron and Paul to move on. Both are talented footballers and I’d like to wish them well in their future football careers.

“It was well documented that Paul had signed with Peterhead. Paul in my opinion will be more suited to playing with Peterhead than he was with us. He is a luxury we cannot afford, Peterhead will dominate the ball more than we will and the opportunity for him to showcase his talent will be greater.

“We need a team who are all committed to working for each other and from this point on there can be no excuse for anyone in my team to be outworked by the player they are up against on the opposite team.

“Since I arrived I have signed eight new players and we will hopefully add another next week. If you also include the return of Grant Rose from his loan spell at Haddington we have had 10 players in and 10 players out.

“The players I have brought in are hungry to show what they can do, we have provided a platform for them within the Scottish Football League for these guys to showcase their quality. With the fans’ support I am positive we will see an improvement in the team.

“A lot has also been made about not strengthening our defence, I want to make it clear this hasn’t been through lack of effort by the board or myself.

“The board have sanctioned funds to bring in quality players and we made attractive offers to two experienced defenders who chose to join League One Clubs.

“I am not panicked by not bringing in another defender because I have faith in who we have at the club.

“It would be remiss of me or anyone else to believe that because of the amount of goals we have conceded it must be solely down to the defenders or goalkeepers.

“I must take some responsibility for the way I ask the players to play, the more attacking players must take responsibility because they also have a duty to defend from the front and more often than not we have not done this as a collective unit this season.

“Everyone can be assured this is something we are addressing at training and it’s up to our squad and management team to show these improvements over the coming months.

“I’m not going to fall into the trap and say Berwick isn’t an attractive option for players, I feel it will be an attractive option and it’s up to me over the course of the next few windows to ensure players want to come here and play.

“Our board are now united and have given me their full backing, we have some great ideas that can hopefully create some positive vibe around the club as we move forward.

“We have been a football league club for almost 70 years and the people of Berwick should be proud of that, for this status to continue we need you to back the players who are here and not think about the negativity surrounding those who have moved on.”

Rangers’ home game against Annan was postponed on Saturday because of a frozen pitch - this Saturday they will face Stirling Albion at home.