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Interviews

Alexander: McArdle is a great fit for us

21 June 2017

United manager Graham Alexander was delighted to make Rory McArdle his third new arrival of the summer.

A player who the boss describes as ‘the whole round package’, the 30-year-old joins following a successful five-year spell with Bradford City.

McArdle penned a three-year deal to join the club, and Alexander gave his reaction to iFollow Iron.

A LONG-TERM TARGET…

GA: He is someone who we’ve had our eye on for a while, but we had to wait for the full season to finish before we could make contact and speak to him. Obviously with Bradford getting to the play-off final, it drew that process out a little bit. However, it was great to meet him and I know a lot about his abilities on the pitch, having played against his teams numerous times over the last few years.

CONVERSATIONS WITH McARDLE…
GA: I sat down with him and explained what we’re about as a team and a club, what we expect from him and also got to know each other and how we want to do things. They had to fit from both sides of the party. From my side it certainly has, he comes in with a lot of good young players around him but he’ll give us that valuable experience at the back which we’ll need. He’s still got ambitions himself to improve and be successful. I think he’s a great fit for us.

ON THE CENTRE-BACK’S PEDIGREE…
GA: He’s got the whole round package, he’s a great communicator and a very good player in his own right. He chips in with goals at the other end, which is important for all centre-halves from set-pieces. We produced quality from set-pieces last season so hopefully he’ll get on the scoresheet a few times as well. He’s seen the potential in us to match his ambitions as well. That’s important for any player joining a new club. Rory’s been an important player for Bradford for the last five years really. He’s been involved in cup runs, a promotion and their promotion pushes in League One. He’s played a major role there and is always someone who has impressed me massively with how he goes about the game and his ability in the matches. He’s someone who I’ve admired for a long time. It was great to meet him and get to know him. You have to have a gut instinct that you can work together, and I certainly had that.

HAVING TO TAKE OUR TIME…
GA: Players like that are top quality and always have options. We had specific targets in mind and it wasn’t going to be plain sailing to sign these lads because of the qualities they possess and the options they have, so we were determined to show that resilience and not jump in too early with other players when we could get our number one targets. He certainly comes into that category. We’re delighted he’s joined us and we look forward to seeing how he works with the other players.

ON POSSIBLE FURTHER ADDITIONS…
GA: We’re trying to add one or two players to the squad. I don’t think we need big numbers now. I feel we’ve done great business with Cameron Burgess, Rory McArdle and Matt Gilks. That’s a part of the squad that was depleted a little bit at the end of last season. We have good strength in depth at centre-half this season. We’re delighted with the business done so far and we’re looking for a couple of players to add to the quality we’ve already got here.


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