Joey Barton gives transfer update as Bristol Rovers in market for full-back to cover Josh Grant
Gas boss says his squad is almost at the perfect balance as club set to do business both in and out
The Gas boss said he had a signing up his sleeve after the win over Scunthorpe United in midweek but nothing has yet been announced.
A position that Barton may be looking to fill in is at left-back where Josh Grant has had to play the past few games, but Grant himself has had two spells of injury and a new player could relieve that pressure on him.
Trevor Clarke has recently had surgery on his groin and will be out for up to six weeks whilst Junior Brown has yet to return and his playing opportunities are expected to be limited if Rovers are successful in their business.
“For me I’ve got to go and get the best option for the squad. Josh Grant has been superb in that position but we’ve got to protect Josh. We need to protect the squad.”
“I said to him (Junior Brown) that opportunities are gonna be limited based on the way we’re going to go. He hasn’t been able to capitalise on his opportunities here.
“We had a conversation, he hasn’t been a moment’s bother, he hasn’t been on the grass enough for me due to knocks and niggles. Every time he’s played for us he’s given a good account of himself.”
An injury update was then provided on Clarke, who hasn’t been included the side lately as he has recently undergone surgery for a reoccurring injury.
The 23-year-old has been limited to just six appearances this season with the last coming in the defeat against Peterborough United in the FA Cup
“He’s had surgery on his groin again. Trev literally just had it done two days ago. He’s probably looking at four to six weeks. We feel sorry for Trev as he hasn’t had a run of fitness and form.”
“Trevor and Junior were kind of brought in to compete for the left-wing back and that hasn’t transpired. Not every transfer goes how you’d imagine it to go.
“I’m disappointed for the lads but at the end of the day this is a business. I’ve got to do the best thing for the team with every single pound we invest into the team on a match day. At this moment in time Trev and Junior aren’t in a position because of their injuries to do that.”
The January transfer window has so far been been one to be content with as they they signed their priority target in Scunthorpe United striker Ryan Loft.
James Connolly meanwhile joined from Cardiff City on loan just a week later and both players have been able to bed in and get to know their teammates.
But with now less than four days left in the window, clubs aren’t going to be able to bide their time over any new signings and instead split decisions will need to be made.
“We’re trying but things can only unfold as fast as they can and they may not unfold,” said Barton when asked whether we could see a new player before the weekend’s game.
“You’re dealing with players, clubs and agents. It’s not straightforward, it’s not like going into a shop and buying a newspaper.
“There are a lot of moving parts. We’re confident we’ll certainly delve into the market before now and the window closes.”
With a game to contend with just before Monday’s deadline, Barton will have to focus on both getting the team ready for the game as well as discussions with the board over new signings.
There will also be players who are currently out of favour or young players not in the first-team picture that may want to take up a new playing opportunity.
“At what level and how many I’m not sure, as you know it’s not like we’re looking for a lot. It might be one or two and it could be the same for the exit strategy.
“We’re not a million miles away from getting the balance we want in the squad and if those opportunities are at the required quality and the right deal for everybody we’ll do them.
“We’re quite close on one or two but quite close in our game might as well be a million miles away. They are never done until they are done.”
“Fingers crossed we can execute one before ideally, I don’t wanna be sitting around in a madcap Sunday-Monday transfer deadline.
“I don’t want that, I’d rather our fans have a nice relaxing Monday but knowing football it’ll go right to the wire.
“We’re trying to get it wrapped up early but also it could go into deadline day.”