Carlisle United assistant manager Graham Kavanagh has spoken about how helping cut the squad has helped turn the team around at Brunton Park.
Kavanagh helped manager Gregg Abbott dismiss several players at the club following his arrival, and believes the Cumbrians are now better off because of the decisions made after the reign of John Ward.
The No.2 said: “When I first came in there were a few players who weren’t happy with John (Ward) because they weren’t playing. It was a big squad and there were seven or eight players in the stand who weren’t happy and that created a negative atmosphere.
“When the gaffer took over we discussed that. We knew that if we reduced the squad size and worked with a smaller group, we would become a more tight-knit group.
Kavanagh, who played for Stoke City and Ireland during a distinguished career, went on to point out the subsequent success enjoyed by the Carlisle team, and believes a happy camp was the key to success.
“We have made progress and the gaffer has done a fantastic job from my point of view. The books are balanced, we’ve made money especially during a difficult time with the recession and we’ve got to two cup finals and finished in the top half of the table."
Carlisle have taken on Andy Welsh, Jon-Paul McGovern and Stephen O’Halloran this summer, moves which the former midfielder thinks should bolster their threadbare squad.
Kavanagh continues: “Now we’re looking to push on and improve. We didn’t have strength in depth last season, which was fine when we were winning games, but if we weren’t, there weren’t a lot of options coming off the bench.
“The new signings we have made should improve that situation.”