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Interviews

INTERVIEW: We don't need to panic

Gav Skelton on the transfer window

6 January 2023

Interviews

INTERVIEW: We don't need to panic

Gav Skelton on the transfer window

6 January 2023

The first week of the winter transfer window brought a new addition to the ranks for the Blues with defender Jack Robinson in for the remainder of the season from Middlesbrough.

Speaking about the loan move on Thursday afternoon, assistant boss Gav Skelton said: “It gives people a lift when new faces come in.

“It’s a fresh face added to the group and it reminds people that there’s always competition for places.

“He’s left-footed so he brings cover and competition on that side, and he won’t be here to make up numbers. He’ll want to play.

“He’s a good lad, he’s already settled well and, like the manager said, the challenge for him is to give those in the team something to think about it.”

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“Having naturally left-footed people in the squad does bring balance,” he added. “I think when Jon Mellish has missed out, whoever has come in has done a fantastic job, but that balance makes it easier.

“That’s not just for the balance of the team, but the player in that position, because you’re not only kicking it with that foot, you’re tackling, everything.

“Hopefully he can push people in those positions to make them better and if they don’t get better hopefully he can jump in front of them. 

“If he gets in the team and he’s better than the other two, brilliant, but if he’s pushing the other two to go up another level, we’re on a winner as well.

“We want to get better as a squad and team. I think he can definitely help us to do that from what we’ve seen in the first two days in training.

“The other good thing is that he gives us cover at left sided wing-back and full-back, and he can definitely play as a left centre half.

“He brings options and, like I say, he just wants to get going and to make a positive impact. The manager has talked about it being with a view to a permanent deal, so this is a big opportunity for him to come and impress, try and get in the team, earn a contract and make a career.

“It’s always a difficult period, early 20s, because you’re trying to find your way. He’ll be desperate to try and do well, earn a contract and really kickstart his career.”

With one done, we wondered if any more was imminent.

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“I think the best way to deal with January is not to comment until something happens,” he said. “I’ve been involved in so many over the years where you think it’s done, then it isn’t.

“You never know what’s round the corner from hour to hour, never mind day to day. With our loans obviously Duncan has gone back, and I think he’s a really good lad who might go somewhere and find that it clicks.

“It never really happened for him here but hopefully the experience will have helped. Sonny Hilton showed us before he got injured what he could do and he’s a great character, really good to have in your dressing room.

“He’s such a positive lad. The ankle injury stopped him just when we felt he would start to have an impact and that was really unfortunate for him.

“We still have Ben Barclay, Jack Stretton and Fin Back, and all of those conversations are ongoing. I’m sure we’ll hear news soon. Fin is obviously with his parent club after his surgery so that’s another discussion that will be ongoing.

“Again, repeating myself, I don’t think it does any good to talk about rumours. There are hundreds, about players in and out, and it’s just pointless trying to make sense of them.

“Sometimes they come my way and I haven’t heard a thing about them, that’s just the way transfer windows are. Until there’s something concrete we’re better not to comment so that we don’t add fuel to the fire.

“We’re the same as any club, we want to add if we can, but let’s wait and see. We have a good squad so we don’t need to panic or run around, but we do want to improve if we can in all areas of the pitch.”


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