The manager on strengthening the squad
Manager Graham Kavanagh confirmed today that there could still be new arrivals in the dressing room before the loan window closes next Thursday [27 March].
“I am still looking to bring one or two more in, if we can,” he revealed. “It’s just the way things are with what we want to do at the moment. It’s down to the situation I was left with when I took over because I didn’t envisage having as many injuries as I’ve had.
“All of the injured players are currently our players and I’ve never really known anything like it. I think we’re doing well under the circumstances but we need to turn that into being good enough to make sure we stay in this league.”
“We’re not close to bringing anyone in for the weekend at this stage,” he said. “I’ve had one or two conversations but they haven’t gone further than being conversations. I think I’ve said before that it’s difficult to get any kind of signing at this stage of the season so we’ll see how it goes. If we get people in, that will be good, but we’re happy to go with what we have.
“I'm judged on my signings and I think James Pearson and Reece Brown have been strong when we’ve needed them to be. Chris Chantler has been thrown in at the deep end at the back as well and he’s become an important player for us.
“The senior lads who are injured still have a huge part to play when it comes to being involved in the dressing room. I've asked Paul Thirlwell to be at the game with us again on Saturday. I've wanted him in the dressing room to lend his experience and wisdom because as much as the lads hear something from the manager and the staff, I think hearing it from a current player helps with performances. It gives that calmness and reassurance from senior players, who know what it takes, so it is important that they all pull together.
“We’re trying to keep the pressure off the lads by simply not talking about the situation. With the world we're in at the moment that can be difficult because of social media and things like that. There is a lot of confidence around the group but talk is cheap. Players can tell you they're confident but they have to show us where it matters - in training and in games.”
And on Manchester United loanee Charni Ekangamene, he said: “It’s a complicated situation. Manchester United asked to take him back and they told us they would then loan him to us as and when we needed him.
“Their circumstances are complicated because they’ve loaned a lot of players out and he is one of the younger ones. They want to use him in the Development Squad, which doesn’t help us in terms of planning on a daily basis. I spoke to Warren Joyce about the situation and he has been different class, as he always is. He’s said we can have him if we desperately need him. He’s still contracted to us but he’s playing for them at this moment in time.”
We’ll have more from the manager ahead of the trip to Notts County on Friday morning.