Steven Pressley has insisted Carlisle United can still recruit “successfully” this summer despite their one-year deal policy.

The manager says the Blues, who still need a number of signings, can be “creative” in the market despite being unable to compete financially with some League Two rivals.

Some fans have questioned United’s stance of offering one-year deals with “review” options to players this summer.

The club have described the move as a financial necessity after the spending of previous seasons.

Pressley said it is a summer of “transition” in this respect but it does not mean the Cumbrians cannot compete.

Asked if the policy made it more difficult to attract proven players in the market, he said: “A million per cent.

“We are nowhere near the top payers in this league, but it doesn’t mean we can’t be effective, or our recruitment can’t be a success.”

Carlisle have signed six players so far this summer and need more additions in various positions.

They have earmarked a host of loan signings and are also trying to progress talks with another free agent centre-half.

The Blues have, though, also missed out on a number of targets, with loanees Jerry Yates and Nathan Thomas among those to have snubbed a return to Brunton Park.

The Cumbrians’ contract length policy was also the subject of strong debate in light of Jamie Devitt’s decision to turn down United’s offer in favour of a move to Blackpool.

Pressley said: “It is a period of transition, after a period [when the club] spent a lot more than it was bringing in.

“Although you talk about players being on one-year contracts, the six we’ve signed all have the option for a second year, based on appearances and those type of things. We are offering those opportunities, but it also gives the club a little bit of protection…if a player doesn’t perform at the level we hope.

“It’s where the club is. We don’t want contracts of two and three years, where you are left with players earning good money that aren’t contributing.

“This is club policy, a decision made by the club to bring stability.

“I speak to other managers who are trying to get high wage-earners off the books because of this type of situation.

“The club will give our longer-term contracts, but to younger players, for example under 24, where there is asset value in that, protective value.

“For players over a certain age this summer – and it might completely change next summer – the policy is one year with options.”

Devitt’s departure saw the midfielder claim he could not sign a “one-year” offer because he wanted more security. United said the offer included a review which could have seen the midfielder stay for longer.

It had been suggested previously that Pressley wanted to build his team around Devitt. Asked why Carlisle could not have made a special case for such a player and offered longer terms, he said: “Once you break the policy, it doesn’t become club policy any more, and the most important thing is the continuity of that.

“Even if we had [offered a longer deal], if he had Blackpool in League One and Carlisle here, I’m pretty certain he’d have picked Blackpool in League One.

“It’s not a loyalty thing, it’s the reality of the situation.”

United’s boss said the club also had to be “creative” in the market given the geographical difficulty in attracting certain players to Carlisle.

United’s players are heading to Coniston today, where the players will take part in various outdoor training and team bonding activities today and tomorrow.

Former Blues winger John O’Sullivan has signed a two-year deal with Morecambe after leaving Blackpool.