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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan 18, 2006

Curbishley eager to bring in more fresh blood

Charlton manager Alan Curbishley is keen to add more new faces to his squad during the transfer window, but accepts it may now be time for other 'surplus players' to move on.

Curbishley yesterday strengthened his attacking options with the addition of Marcus Bent, who agreed a three-and-a-half-year contract after leaving Everton in a deal which could eventually cost the south-east London club £2.5million.

The 27-year-old is likely to partner his namesake, Darren, in Charlton's first-choice frontline, and could be handed his debut in Sunday's trip to Premiership leaders Chelsea.

However, Marcus Bent's arrival now leaves Curbishley with a plethora of strikers in his squad, and the futures of Francis Jeffers, Kevin Lisbie, Jonatan Johansson and attacking midfielder Jason Euell all now look to lie away from The Valley.

Several Coca-Cola Championship clubs - including Sheffield United, Millwall and Norwich - are reported to be keen on loan deals for any one of the aforementioned trio, while Euell's proposed £1.5million move to Birmingham now appears to be in danger of collapse following a change of heart by the midlands club.

'There may be players wanting to leave, and obviously I have a surplus in the forward area, so this window is the perfect opportunity for that to happen,' said Curbishley.

'We will have to see how it pans out, but if nothing happens between now and that window closing, then they are all staying here and we get on with it.'

The Charlton manager added: 'I am sure when Marcus walked into the building, there were some disappointed people, and I can understand that - it is up to them to get themselves motivated and try to make sure if he is playing, that they are playing with him. That is what we want at the club.

'I know I have got some surplus players now, but I am not advocating I have to get rid of somebody just because I have brought somebody in.'

Curbishley hopes to be able to do some more business before the transfer window closes, a midfielder or centre-half now most likely to head the shopping list after securing his top target in Marcus Bent.

'I would like to do a bit more if I can, so let's see,' said the Charlton boss. 'We did not spend all the [Scott] Parker money in the summer, because I got a lot of loan players in.

'If we can do any more business, we will. I want to strengthen as much as I can.'

Charlton had started the season in superb form, a 100% away record helping them climb to second place in the table and then knocking holders Chelsea out of the Carling Cup on penalties at Stamford Bridge.

However, a wretched run of just two wins in 10 Barclays Premiership matches followed, before three victories in the last four games boosted morale and saw the Addicks move up to 11th place, as well as safely into the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Curbishley hopes his team's habitual blip is now out of their system and that the south-east London club can be challenging around the European qualification spots again with a strong finish over the second half of the campaign.

'The last four or five years, the biggest criticism has been that we fade away over the last 10 games - perhaps this year it is going to change,' said Curbishley.

'We have been in a bad run, but there is half a season left and let's see if we can change what happens to us.

'It may be this year we have a very good run towards the end of the season. We have got two games in hand, are three points behind being in the top eight, so it is there for us.'

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