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Curbs defends buys

Filed: Friday, 4th May 2007
By: Matthew O'Greel

Alan Curbishley has defended his January signings in the wake of recent criticism.

Curbishley spent around 17m on his five transfer window signings, yet only one - Lucas Neill - has managed to cement a place in the first team.

Of the other four players signed, Matthew Upson (6m), Calum Davenport (3m) and Nigel Quashie (2m) have all suffered lengthy injuries, whilst Luis Boa Morte (5m) has only recently begun to make an impact on the first XI due to injury problems of his own.

Speaking to the Citizen, Curbs said:

"The players I brought in haven't really been given a chance for one reason or another - but they're good players.

"Lucas Neill came in and got injured straight away - twice - but now he's showing what he's capable of.

"Luis Boa Morte came in on the back of an injury and never really showed his quality. He's just come back but he can make - and pinch - a goal, as he showed against Wigan.

"Calum Davenport has been injured. Matthew Upson has been injured and so has Nigel Quashie."

Explaining his decision to sign the players, one or two of whom met with less than unanimous approval from United supporters, he added:

"What I tried to do was bring some experience in amongst all the young talent. It's never really materialised because they've not stayed fit.

"But we're seeing the young talent still, and the five are good players who will hold us in good stead for next season - whatever happens to us."

Meanwhile Matthew Upson, who has seen less than 45 minutes of action since signing from Birmingham City in January has confessed that he is unlikely to play again this season.

The big centre-half thought he may have recovered in time to play a part in United's two remaining fixtures but according to the player himself, that now appears to be a long shot.

"I will not write off playing again this season but we are running out of games and time and my chances look slim," he said.

"I have worked hard to get the move here so to not be able to play - given the position the team are in - is frustrating.

"It is difficult, but you look to solve the problem and get on with it rather than complain."

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