The loan signing of a goalkeeper hit a stumbling block earlier in the week following unexpected complications at the parent club for the player, and Paul Simpson confirmed yesterday that it’s a position that remains on his priority list to fill.
“No, it’s not happening this week,” he said. “When we’re looking at bringing in Premier League loan signings there are all sorts of criteria that clubs have to be comfortable with.
“With the goalkeeper last weekend, his club wanted him to sign an extension to his contract before he came out, which they thought would be dead straight forward, but it wasn’t.
“They’ve hit a stalemate so they’re not prepared to let him come out, it’s as simple as that. We’d still take him, so let’s see what happens.
“We’ve probably had seven or eight goalkeepers we’ve looked at over the summer and none of them have happened so far.
“We’re still working away trying to get them in, but it isn’t going to happen before Saturday. We’ve got until the end of August to try and do it.
“At the moment we’ve got Tomas Holy and a young guy in Gabe Breeze, who is a good goalkeeper, but who probably isn’t ready for first team football. He may get an opportunity as we go through the season but it’s an area we certainly need to strengthen.
“I can assure everybody we are trying to, it just hasn’t happened so far. What I want this season is a second goalkeeper who isn’t just a number two, who could also be a number one.
“That’s no disrespect to Mick [Kelly] who we had last season, but I didn’t feel confident enough to play him in the first team in a league fixture. I want somebody who is really going to push, and if I get to a point where I think I need to change it, I’m comfortable to do it.
“I know with the goalkeeper you have the emergency loan situation that we could do. I don’t want to be in that position. I want to be able to have an extra keeper in, somebody who will challenge to be a umber one, somebody who will push Tomas and maybe even dislodge him.”
The current situation means that second-year pro Gabe Breeze could well find himself on the bench for the opening fixture.
“I’m sure Gabe will be nervous on Saturday,” he agreed. “As it stands he will be on the bench unless something happens between now and Friday lunchtime.
“I’m really happy with what he’s doing in training and he’s developing really well as a keeper, I just need somebody who has some experience behind them who can really push.
“I want somebody to keep Tomas on his toes so he knows he has to keep his game at a level to make sure he stays in the team.
“Gabe has earned the right to be on the bench. He’s trained really well through pre-season. He actually did really well last season, but in my opinion he hasn’t had enough games for me to throw him into the first team if I had to start him.
“I don’t think you can go with just two keepers, you need a minimum of three. In an ideal world I’d like four, finances will probably dictate that, but we’ll keep working to try and get the right person in.
“Somebody who’ll be a real good addition to the group, someone who will not just push Tomas but bring Gabe on as well.”