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Monday, 24 November 2014

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Carlisle Utd land Billy Paynter and Gary Dicker

Carlisle United manager Graham Kavanagh said a glowing report from Gus Poyet convinced him to snap up new signing Gary Dicker.

The Sunderland boss, who managed the midfielder at Brighton, could not speak highly enough of Dicker according to Kavanagh.

Dicker has joined the Blues on a two-year deal as part of a major double swoop - along with former Swindon, Leeds and Doncaster striker Billy Paynter.

Dicker had been tracked by the Blues for several weeks after his release from Crawley.

“I had very good reviews from Gus and [coach] Charlie Oatway and he is a very good player who handles the ball well," said Kavanagh of the 27-year-old.

“He is a good age and will compete in a physical division.”

Paynter, meanwhile, turned down interest from League One in favour of spearheading United's bid to bounce back from relegation to League Two.

The 29-year-old was a free agent following his release from Doncaster at the end of last season and was a major summer target for Kavanagh.

“I have wanted Billy in since the first week after last season," Kavanagh said.

"He had better financial offers but I think he liked what he heard – we want to make sure he gets his career back to where it was at Swindon.

“He has been a bit unfortunate with injuries but now he’s fully fit and raring to go.”

The United boss will be hoping Paynter can recapture the prolific form he showed for Swindon when he fired 29 goals in the 2009/10 season.

Paynter, who has also had spells at Port Vale, Hull, Southend and Bradford, hit 14 goals in 52 outings for Doncaster before ending last season on loan at Sheffield United.

Paynter said: "The manager really sold the club to me and said he wants me to play a big part next season. I'm really looking forward to it."

Paynter and Dicker will join fellow new recruits Antony Sweeney and Danny Grainger when Kavanagh and his squad return for pre-season training next Tuesday.

Kavanagh is hoping to make at least one more signing before then having tabled offers to three further players.

The United boss added: “It is all coming together slowly – I’d like another central midfielder and a centre-half in and then that will hopefully be a good, experienced spine of the team – after that it will be a case of putting other pieces around it.

“We’ve made three offers and I’m hopeful of getting at least one of them. With another, the agent has agreed on his behalf but I’m still waiting to speak to the player.

“I haven’t wanted to rush anything. I know the fans have been waiting patiently but I didn’t want to say anything until we got these signings over the line.”

Kavanagh has admitted that he has "moved on" from James Berrett with the midfielder still having not given the Blues an answer on their two-year contract offer.

It appears to spell the end for Berrett's four-year spell with United, but veteran Paul Thirlwell is poised to sign a one-year deal next week.

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