Castle unhappy with Thurlbourne's fitness levels

PUBLISHED: 09:16 05 November 2009 | UPDATED: 14:36 06 May 2010

Luke Thurlbourne.

Luke Thurlbourne.

CITY have released midfielder Luke Thurlbourne by mutual consent after Castle became unhappy at the former Southend man s level of fitness. Thurlbourne, who was the club s Player of the Month for August and September, was dropped from the starting XI for

CITY have released midfielder Luke Thurlbourne by mutual consent after Castle became unhappy at the former Southend man's level of fitness.

Thurlbourne, who was the club's Player of the Month for August and September, was dropped from the starting XI for Saturday's game with Weymouth and has now left the club though Castle has left the door open for a return.

"He made it inevitable unfortunately," revealed Castle. "He had the opportunity to go full time training at the very start of the season - he didn't do that and he was assuring me he was doing things. He isn't working and slowly but surely he was just getting himself more and more unfit. I've got a tight budget, he was on good money and it's a shame because I was one of his best supporters.

"I have given him a lifeline, I've said to him (he's got) a month to six weeks to get himself right, whether he takes that on board I don't know," continued the 43-year-old.

"I'd love to have him back, a fit Luke Thurlbourne is one of the best midfielders in the league let alone at this football club but we haven't seen that in my opinion for a good month or so.

"If he grows up and gets himself sorted, I personally haven't got a problem with the lad but he can't keep on disregarding training. His fitness levels, whatever he's being doing with his lifestyle, are not conducive to playing football."

City travel to Basingstoke on Saturday for the start of what is a tough looking week for the club.

"We've got Basingstoke, Woking and Braintree - it will be tough and we're losing James Fisher after the Basingstoke game which will make it even tougher," said Castle.

"I'd be very, very confident that Solomon Shields will be back. We've just got to make sure our performances are up to the Newport County level and keep a clean sheet.

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