Graham Kavanagh on deadline day dealings
United manager Graham Kavanagh gave us his thoughts on the loan signings of Liverpool midfielder Craig Roddan, Blackburn left back Josh Morris and Manchester United striker Tom Lawrence shortly after the transfer window had closed on Thursday evening.
“We spoke about Craig Roddan from Liverpool earlier and we’re obviously delighted that we have him in with us,” he said. “He’s been in our sights for a while and we actually hoped to bring him in along with a centre forward called Adam Morgan. Initially they were the two deals we wanted to get done on this deadline.
“We very quickly got there with Craig but Adam was a little bit more complicated. He was at the expensive end of where we wanted to be but, going forward, we felt he was the type of player we wanted at the club and we were comfortable with it.
“Once it became apparent that it was failing we immediately started to look elsewhere, and that’s not to say that one option is ever better than the other. You have to go into these things with three or four first choices, if you like, because inevitably something comes along when you least expect it.
“Tom [Lawrence] was someone we have seen a lot over the last few weeks and months and he can change or win a game. He’ll give us pace and athleticism and he handles the ball really well. He’s aggressive in the right way and he’s going to give us even more options up front. He can play anywhere across that front line and he can play off the shoulder as a number nine. He’s a good one for us to have.”
“I spoke to Warren Joyce this morning and he has been really good with us again,” he continued. “The relationship we’ve built up with Manchester United over the years, when we’ve taken the likes of Norwood, Chester, Dudgeon, Evans, James and now Ben Amos, is really standing us in good stead with them. They’ve seen how we’ve dealt with their players and I think they respect the way we use them in a live, competitive environment.
“This is another chance for one of their lads to come in and hit the ground running. Our players will be looking over their shoulder knowing that there’s even more competition and that can only be a good thing.”
“Josh [Morris] is another who will make our squad sit up and take notice,” he added. “Conor Townsend goes back to Hull this weekend so we wanted to keep things fresh and exciting on that side of the pitch. He can play in midfield or at left back and he has real quality on the ball.
“He’s known for his set pieces and he strikes a great ball so we’re starting to give ourselves a whole range of options and things we can do within a game. We’re going to see players on the bench, even, who will be able to change the game for us and that’s important.”
“These lads should be here looking to earn a starting place,” he said. “I’ve told them all from day one that every place is up for grabs every single week. They have to earn the right to play and they can only do that by maintaining their levels. My hope is that by adding a bit more to it we will improve things even further.”
And on the relationship the club enjoys with a number of clubs from higher levels, he said: “I think it’s vital that we get it right with these clubs. We had MUTV here last week and it was fantastic to see how interested they were in what we do and how we work. To see the level of respect they have for us really does matter. It shows that they like the way we do things and that they would be open to listening when we ask about more players in the future.”
“I said on Tuesday night that I would be happy if the group I had then was what we had going through to January,” he continued. “If I’m being really honest, I would have been even happier if we could have moved one or two out the other way, simply to get them some football.
“What I do have to say is that the board of directors, the chairman and the managing director have been absolutely magnificent. They’ve taken a lot of stick over the years but they have been unbelievable in their support of what I am trying to do. They’ve pushed the boat out to back and support me with where I want to take this club and they deserve a pat on the back for that. They have most definitely stretched themselves but it shows us, yet again, what they are prepared to do to try to bring us a little bit of success. I couldn’t be more pleased.”