The manager on Amos, Fleming and loan deals
Manager Graham Kavanagh brought us up to date with the keeper situation as Ben Amos returns to Manchester United and Mark Gillespie continues to recover from his knee injury.
“The situation with Mark is obviously one we didn’t expect and it’s one we have to address quickly in terms of cover,” he said. “I am more than comfortable with Greg [Fleming] playing because he has shown us that he can perform on the biggest stage.
“On every occasion he has played for us he has come in and shown that he is capable and equipped to do the job. He’s been a real credit to himself.”
“Our problem is that we have a young kid behind him who hasn’t been tested in this environment at all yet,” he continued. “That leaves us guessing as to how he would perform, if he had to step in, so it’s something we will have to sort as soon as we can. Whether or not we get one in for the weekend is another matter but we’ll certainly have to utilise the loan market and try to get a body in if we possibly can.”
“We’re still talking to Manchester United about Ben Amos,” he confirmed. “We’ve made a couple of calls and I think he really enjoyed his time here. He was making a name for himself again and I don’t think there’s anything like a real first team environment for any player.
“We gave him a platform and I think that’s what sparks interest from other clubs. I had a chat with him and I’m clear on what he wants to do, but I think that whatever he decides he has to make sure he’s playing regularly. We would like to have him back but I’m just not sure if it’s going to be possible.”
“It’s not one where we can wait forever,” he said. “We’ve put a list together of who we would see as good cover or as a good number one. It needs to be a keeper who will come in and challenge and who will be as good as, or even better than, what we’ve already got.”
“I’d love to get something done with Pascal Chimbonda,” he told us. “Brad Potts has done well at right back but I’d like to get something sorted with him until the end of the season. The lads have really taken to him and he’s been fantastic with the younger players.
“He knew he wasn’t playing on Sunday but he sat on the coach with Pottsy talking to him about the game and what to expect. I thought that was absolutely first class of him.”
“We were looking to extend Josh Gillies at Cambridge and they wanted him to stay,” he explained. “It looked like it was agreed but there are one or two complications at the moment. It should be a bit clearer next week as to what is happening with that.”
In terms of where he wants the squad to go, he said: “I always talk about the spine and in every successful team I’ve played in we’ve always had a steady keeper and a steady back four. I’m not sure that we’ve played more than twice in succession with the same goalkeeper and back four since I took over.
“It’s been that way for a number of reasons – suspensions, injuries and loan deals included – and it’s been difficult for us. The loan market has really benefitted this football club but the problem you get is when you can’t nail them down to a long term deal.
“That means you always face the prospect of building something only to have it taken away from you. I think over the next three weeks I have to look at a centre half, a winger and a centre forward. Max [Ehmer] could go back, Tom [Lawrence] could go back and my intention has always been to add another striker.
“That’s what I want to do but it all comes down to balancing the books. Manchester United and QPR have been wonderful in the way they have helped us with the financial side of their deals and that has allowed me to do other things.
"You have to try to match that with other deals you want to do and that's where it can get frustrating. However, that’s where we are, and we’ll keep working away to get the strongest team we can to help us to push forward to where we want to be.”