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WARD - A STRIKER IS THE PRIORITY

7 January 2013

Manager on transfer targets

John Ward has said that a striker remains his top priority as he seeks to bring new faces to the Memorial Stadium

Following the injury to Garry Kenneth on Saturday he admits that he will also have to look at bringing another defender to the club.

Although he says that anyone he does bring in will have to have Bristol Rovers as their priority.

John said: “The chances of bringing in five or six new players is scarce to say the least.

“I have got to have a look at bringing a defender as we think Garry is going to be out for a while, and we have lost Cian Bolger as well.

“The centre half partnership has changed every game in the three weeks I have been here.

“It becomes another area I need to look at, but I think the priority remains to bring in a striker. I am trying to get a senior one in, one with experience.

“I am hoping to get things done over these next couple of days, so if I can bring a few faces in they are here before we travel up to Fleetwood on the Friday.

“So far I have been quite pleased with the acquisitions we have been able to get in, and they have come in quite quickly.

“Any player I bring in I have to make sure they are not here for themselves, but here for Bristol Rovers Football Club.”

And Garry Kenneth visited the specialist today to find out the extent of the damage to his knee, sustained in the lead up to Gillingham’s second goal on Saturday.

John said: “He is at the specialist today, but we think it is pretty serious. Early indications are that we have quite a problem with the knee.

“He wanted to come back on on Saturday, but that is his nature, he is not going to pack in easily. But he finished up going home on crutches, and it is another blow for us.

“If we dwell on it and moan about it it looks like we are looking for sympathy, but there is nothing we can do about it, we have these long term injuries to senior players.  

“That is the challenge in front of us, and the younger players have to stand up to the plate and say I am ready for this opportunity.”

Joe Anyinsah could be back for Saturday’s trip to Fleetwood, and there is a chance that Jim Paterson and David Clarkson could also be available.

John said: “Joe is a little bit tight, but we are hopeful he will be available for the weekend, if he had kept going we might have been looking at six to eight weeks out, and that is a risk I could not take.

“David Clarkson wants to be fit, and that is half the battle. He has not trained as yet, but the swelling has gone done and there is still a bit of soreness.

“There is no midweek game, so those extra 48 hours may give him a chance.

“We are very hopeful we could have Jim Paterson on the coach going up to Fleetwood.”

And the manager knows that his side have a tough run of games coming up.

He said: “If you look at our next run of games they are all against top six or seven prospects, so we are going to be tested to the full, but I don’t mind that.

“We gave a decent account of ourselves against Gillingham on Saturday and if we can do the same at Fleetwood I will be ok.”

For the full interview visit Gas Player.


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