Interview | Lee Clark on Callum Roberts’ departure

Blyth Spartans manager Lee Clark has issued the following message to supporters following the departure of Callum Roberts to Notts County for an undisclosed fee. 

Clark admitted the club is gutted by the departure of the 22-year-old but could not stand in the player’s way.

He has urged everyone to stick together ahead of a massive couple of months. 

Clark is under no illusion how difficult it will be to replace Roberts and his goals, however has vowed to try his utmost best to seal new signings. 

The Spartans boss said:

“What we did as a club to attract him once we got the backing of the supporter’s club for the finance to keep Callum, we thank them again for doing that.

“There was always that situation where you know other clubs are going to come in for him and we had to speak with Callum and his agent to say: ‘listen we’re not going to stand in his way as long as the club got compensated in the right way’.

“Obviously this deal that the club has got is happy for those terms so we have to stick to what we said to the player and that’s we won’t stand in his way if he wanted to move.

“I said from the start he’s a player that shouldn’t be playing at this level, he’d lost his way a little bit after his release from Newcastle.

“It was the perfect fit for us and for me because I knew the player really well and that we could work together.

“We are all very disappointed, we’re gutted because he was exceptional for us.

“He came and showed a brilliant attitude, didn’t think he was above the league, he gelled with the players very quickly, they liked him, he liked them.

“As you saw on the pitch he delivered, he worked really hard for the group, scored some crucial goals and made some crucial goals.

“We’re all really disappointed because we’ve lost a terrific player and one who will be remembered even though it was a short period.

“He’ll be remembered with glowing references by the fans for what he achieved at Blyth but we’ve just got to move on that’s football.

“When you’re working at the level you are and have quality players it is difficult to keep them at your club.

“We’ve just got to move on, stick together, the team are starting to show a bit of consistency now and look strong. 

“We’ve got a massive last few months of the season to go to try and consolidate in the league and hopefully get a run in the Northumberland Senior Cup and go from there.

“I was already looking for new signings to be honest before we got made aware of Notts County’s interest for Callum.

“I wanted to add one or possibly two more players to the group in the attacking areas because we feel the defensive areas are doing quite well, we’ve done well with the new acquisitions there which have really helped us.

“Obviously losing Callum means that we still want to strengthen in those attacking areas but the situation we’re in at the moment we only have room for one more loan because we currently have four loan players at the club and you can only have five.

“You never take a loan player to not be in your squad so we are going to have to do a bit of business on both sides hopefully, a loan deal and possibly a permanent deal.

“Now we’ve lost Callum we are short, we are dealing with a smaller group of players which was my decision when we revamped the squad, we wanted quality over quantity.

“Obviously when you do lose players and have a couple of injuries it does leave you a little bit short so we do have to bring a couple in to compensate.

“The difficult thing now is to try and replace those goals that Callum scored and made, that will take some time, it will be very difficult to replace that number of goals especially in January.

“We’ll try and do it in a different way, maybe get a couple of players who can make that contribution combined rather than one.

“We will be looking in January to see how we can strengthen the group.”

Posted by Jordan Cronin