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MANAGER: We're looking at some experience and some younger ones

Paul Simpson on injuries and the January transfer window

28 December 2022


MANAGER: We're looking at some experience and some younger ones

Paul Simpson on injuries and the January transfer window

28 December 2022

It probably doesn’t come as any kind of surprise that we used part of this afternoon’s press conference to get the latest injury update, along with more on the transfer window (what with it being just a few days away from opening).

“We haven’t had any update on Ryan Edmondson,” he confirmed. “The orthopedic surgeons are probably back in the office today so I’m hoping we get a further update on it.

“I just hope we get a decision soon so we can get it dealt with. It’s understandable, I’m not complaining, because it’s a time of year when people have time away.

“Once we know the course of action we’ll update everybody and take it from there.”

“With the others, Omari Patrick has trained fully with the group today, so he’s starting to build up his fitness,” he continued. “We’ll have to wait and see whether he can be involved for Crewe or Doncaster, if not then we’ve got 14 days before our next game, which gives us a really good window to get him topped up and back up to speed.

“Ben Barclay still hasn’t joined in training yet but he’s starting to get loaded up in the gym with his strength work. He’ll be back into training soon and he hasn’t been out for as long as Omari so he won’t be in need of as much fitness work.

“Joel is still where he was. He just wasn’t selected for the bench against Bradford because I wanted another forward player on there with it being a home game, so Sonny Hilton took his place.

“Joel will be in the group to travel to Crewe and between now and then I’ll decide whether he’s right to go back into the 18.

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“Other than that I hope the players we had available for Bradford will all be able to carry on against Crewe and do the job we need them to do, and that will mean I don’t have to worry about rushing Omari back.

“We had a couple who didn’t do everything today, just to look after them, but hopefully there’ll be no more to worry about from that.”

Looking ahead to the January window, he commented: “We’re starting to get a little bit more sure about what we can and can’t do in January.

“We’ve had a bit of a setback today because one of the players we were looking to bring in has been diagnosed with an illness or infection which could see him shut down for about a month, so we might not be able to move forward on that one.

“We do have other options, we’re looking at some experience and some younger ones. I think we’re in a good position and hopefully before the Newport game we’ll have at least one in, if everything goes to plan.

“We’ll see with the loans we’ve got and whether they’re going back to their parent clubs, then we’ll deal with it from there.”

“Whatever we do, the plan is to try to make the squad better. There’s no guarantee, but we’re looking around and bringing in what we can afford to bring in.

“We’re trying to do it because it’s important and we want to stay up in these top places. Clubs below where we are right now who will have a real push to try and get into the top seven, we have to be in a position to be able to withstand that and maybe even push ourselves higher.”

On the process of getting to the point where something can be done, he said: “Once names are collated we ask clubs if they’re available, and we’ve had positive responses from some of those we’ve spoken to.

“Things can change, you never know what can come, be it injuries to players who are involved and suddenly the player who has been made available is needed by his own club again. You just never know.

“That means we need to think again because we want players coming in who are fully fit and raring to go. Whether we can wait three or four weeks for this guy to get over his infection, that’s something we need to think about.”

But unforeseen circumstances aside, he also confirmed that he feels the club is in a much better place for this particular window.

“I’m much happier than I was last June,” he admitted. “I felt as though we were a little bit behind then, but we’re in a good position now.

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“We’ve watched people, done our homework, and we know where we are in terms of finances in terms of players we want to bring in.

“The work done doesn’t guarantee we’re going to get them, we’ve just got to wait and see. But I would like to think we’ll have a little bit of a change to the squad by the time we play Newport.”

As for the amount of activity we can expect to see, he told us: I never put numbers on it. It’s more about seeing how it goes.

“We can’t bring players who parent clubs want to see developed if we can’t say they’ll definitely play, and I won’t tell lies about that.

“Every player has to earn the right to get in our team, and anyone coming in has to be good enough to push our starters.

“I don’t think we’re talking about six or seven players, it might be two or three, but the number depends on what happens to us over the next few weeks.

“Will Ryan need surgery - we might have to adapt to that situation, and how will Omari Patrick come through his next few weeks.

“The decision on Jack Stretton isn’t finalised yet, so there’s all kinds of things that might affect what we do. That’s the same with Ben Barclay and Sonny Hilton, the other loan players, so hopefully it’ll become clearer for us as we go through these next few weeks.”

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