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MANAGER: A very difficult week

16 January 2014

Graham Kavanagh on unexpected injuries

Manager Graham Kavanagh spoke to us today about what has been a tough week as Sean O’Hanlon, Chris Chantler and Conor Townsend were added to an already worrying injury list.

"It's been a very difficult week,” he agreed. “We obviously had the heavy defeat at Orient but we came in on Monday and had a really good meeting where we discussed a number of things with the players. 

“Conor Townsend then broke his foot and it looks like he'll be out for the rest of the season. We did a double session on Monday – football in the morning and strength and conditioning in the afternoon – and the lads were doing fast feet through the cones. He planted his left foot and he caught one of the weights bags with his little toe. 

“He actually said he heard a pop and felt the bone crack and I think Dolly knew it was going to be serious straight away. We're going to see what the surgeon says but it looks like he'll need an operation.”

“Chris Chantler then tore his ankle ligaments in the game against Fleetwood on Tuesday,” he continued. “We aren't sure how long he will be out for but his ankle was extremely swollen and he left here on crutches. He's having a scan so we'll know the outcome of that at some point over the next few days.”

“Sean O'Hanlon has a bit of a problem with his back so we are really thin on the ground at the moment,” he said. “It is a big concern for us and it’s another one where you wonder what’s going on.

“We trained at Creighton on Tuesday and the pitches are all very heavy with the recent weather we’ve seen. Sean turned quickly and the ground came away from underneath him which caused him to twist his back. He is getting better but he can barely walk, so it’s a concern for the weekend. If I’m being honest I don’t think his chances of playing are very good at all.”

As to whether the injury situation has affected the work he wants to do within the January transfer window, he said: "We did a lot before Christmas on what we wanted but the injury situation has changed that. We now have to strengthen in areas we thought we had covered, which isn’t ideal, but it is what it is and we'll have to get on with it.”

As to players heading out the other way, he said: “One or two questions have been asked but we’re down to the bare bones. Some of those who have had a bit of interest are now injured so it’s not something we can do at this moment in time. That could change next week but, with the size of our squad and what we have available right now, I don’t want to let them go.”

"We definitely need bodies in,” he confirmed. “I think we need variety at the top end of the pitch to get us goals. The majority of deals we do at the moment will be loans. We tried to get one over the line yesterday, which didn't come off, but we'll keep working away. 

“We are interested in Duncan Watmore at Sunderland but I think we're behind a host of clubs who are looking at him. We've known about him for a number of weeks and he obviously played against us in the FA Cup. I've watched him a couple of times in other games and I'm hoping the relationship we have with Sunderland will help, but there are a lot of other clubs with their hats in the ring.

"There is a possibility that we'll have one or two players in before the game on Saturday but there is still an awful lot of work to be done. We have one where we have to agree one or two things with the club involved but the player seems very keen. I spoke to one of his coaches this morning and he sounded positive. We haven't agreed anything yet but it would just be a loan. Getting the deals done can be quite difficult so we'll just have to wait and see.”

"As things stand we might have to bring a couple of the youth lads in on Saturday but I’m happy with the team I'm going to be able to put out. It gives some of the lads who haven't been playing an opportunity to get themselves back into the team so we’re looking at it as a positive thing.” 

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