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Lambe signs new Carlisle deal

Lambe has scored eight goals for Carlisle this season

Reggie Lambe has signed a new one-year deal at Carlisle United as he comes to the end of a successful first season at the Sky Bet League Two club

Manager Keith Curle confirmed yesterday that Lambe, who has scored eight goals in 44 appearances for the Cumbrians this season, was one of three players to sign new contracts, with captain Danny Grainger, a left back, also putting pen-to-paper on a one-year deal which keeps him at the club until the summer of 2018.

Midfielder Luke Joyce (29) and Bermuda winger Lambe (26) have both triggered existing appearance clauses that also keep them at the club for another season. Lambe signed his initial one-year dead last June and has been a regular first-team player this season.

“I think it’s always good news when players are committing their futures to the club,” Curle said. “It also shows that the club are prepared to invest in them because of the job they’ve been doing.

“Ever since I got to the club I’ve been talking about foundations, platforms and pillars and I think people like Luke Joyce and Danny Grainger have the characteristics I’m looking for to give us a level of consistency, professionalism and ability to help to provide the platform this football club needs.

“Reggie is the same because he is desperate for the team to do well and to be putting in performances which will help us to win games. These players have earned the respect of the coaching staff and of the fans.

“In some cases they’ve had difficult times with the fans and that can have a massive affect on your confidence. They overcame that and they’re now favourites.”

Speaking more about Joyce, he said: “When I signed other midfield players I think Luke saw that as a direct challenge. What an answer he gave us to that and performance wise he’s probably been playing the best he’s ever played, particularly with Mike Jones beside him.

“Good players play better when they have better players beside them and that’s what happened with his partnership with Mike. We’d like him to add a few more goals to his game but his level of performance has been excellent.”

Carlisle spent the first half of the season in the top three but have fallen off lately and now occupy tenth place, with still a chance of reaching the playoffs.

“We have other players who have to show me that they are worthy of getting contracts at this football club,” Curle told the club’s website. “All of the players who are out of contract are fighting for their careers and, within that, I have to take into the account the budget I will have available for the start of next season.

“That’s an ever-changing figure based on how well we do this season. If we get into the play-offs we can generate a little bit more money, which I know will be made available.

“One thing that doesn’t change is that we need bums on seats. The biggest disappointment for me personally — and this isn’t a club view, this is my view — is that I wanted more people in at Brunton Park. I felt the football we were serving up and the record breaking start we had to the season merited and warranted bigger support at home.”

Curle added: “I know they’re out there because they came to the Everton game and over 6,000 of them went to Liverpool. Is it the case that they only come to the big games? Do they get treated correctly; do they get value for money; is the product and brand we’re supplying worthy of their support?

“We need to answer all of these things as a football club because within that I base my incentive packages on where I think we will be as a club. I thought the better the players did and the more money they earned would be levelled out by more bums on seats. The fact is that we haven’t had the level of support I expected to get.”

With three contracts sorted out, the club is hoping to seal more deals at the end of the season.

“In my own mind I’ve made decisions on probably 80 per cent of the squad as we look ahead to next season,” Curle said. “What I would say is that just because players have contracts it doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed to be playing here next season.”