Manager Graham Kavanagh on new signing Stephen Elliott
Manager Graham Kavanagh spoke to us this afternoon about Stephen Elliott, his latest pre-season recruit.
“This is a signing which has taken the longest amount of time to complete,” he said. “I was in a position where I wanted him to prove his fitness and he’s more than done that.
“He’s had a serious knee injury and we’ve helped him out with that a bit. We got him over here around January time, initially, and he’s now all sorted and ready to go again.”
“I think he’ll be a really good addition to the group,” he added. “I played with him at Sunderland, and with Ireland, and I know his character very well. I also know his ability and his personality are right in terms of what we want to add.
“He hasn’t played for over a year so there is a little bit of a gamble involved with it. However, it’s a gamble I feel is justified because he’s shown us that he’s ready to go.”
“He’s demonstrated, even in training, that he can sniff opportunities out and score goals, whether he’s on the end of things or creating them for himself,” he said. “He scored two really good goals against Carlisle City on Tuesday night, and he has an abundance of energy and a desire to work hard.
“The training sessions he’s had with us have shown that he’s getting more and more confidence in his body, following the injury lay-off he’s had, and I feel he’ll be a really good addition to the squad.”
And on the Luton and Derby games, he said: “I’ll be looking to get him involved in the two games over the weekend, definitely, and we’ll also be looking to get him more minutes in bounce games, and things like that.
“The more time he gets out there then the quicker he will be fully up to speed. He’s another I’ve spoken to face to face and you can see the determination in his eyes.
“I’m hoping he kicks his career off again because, if we’re being honest, he shouldn’t be playing at this level. The quality he has means he should be in the Championship. It’s a case now of proving that to the fans and the only way he can do that is to be out there playing his football the way we know he can.”
“I’m now in a place where I’m really happy with the squad I have,” he concluded. “I’d still like to bring another striker in and still have room to move in the loan market, if at all possible. I’m really comfortable with how things are and I’m very much looking forward to Saturday.”