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Loan market frustrating Blackburn Rovers boss
MICHAEL Appleton admits he is struggling to find the “short term fixes” needed to boost Blackburn Rovers’ season as his loan market efforts continue to be frustrated.
The Blackburn Rovers boss is still trying to add fresh faces before tomorrow’s Ewood Park visit of Peterborough, as he faces an extensive injury list, but admits his search has encountered problems.
His efforts to bring Reading midfielder Jay Tabb into the club this week look doomed to failure, with the player looking for more of a permanent move, something Appleton admits can’t be offered.
The Rovers boss was hoping to be boosted by the return to the squad of Leon Best tomorrow, having missed the entire season with a cruciate ligament injury, but he is now touch and go after suffering a slight reaction.
He said: “We are 50/50 about getting a player in for the weekend. For it to work it has to be right for both clubs, the other club has to behind it and rightly so. It is going to be touch and go but we will keep working it hard to make sure it happens.
“We made an enquiry and had a conversation about Jay Tabb but we are getting the impression, if there was an opportunity, thelad was wanting something more long term.
“We did not feel we were in the position to offer somebody, of that type, a long term thing at this time. It literally is short term fixes at the minute. We have an extensive injury to key players and at some point they will come back into the fold.
“Timing is not great but when those six or seven players do get back into contention I would very surprised if they are not in the starting 11 or 14.
“We are at a stage of the season now where everything looks as though it is going to be short term. We need to find solutions from a short term point of view.
“But ultimately I want to be going into a group of games or a season being really happy with the balance of the squad. They are the questions and answers we need to come up with between now and the end of the season.”
While Appleton’s search in the transfer market continues, he is hopeful Best will soon be available for selection again – but insists the player won’t be rushed back.
He said: “If Leon is physically okay and his knee is okay then I would like to get him involved. But every now and again he does get a little bit of swelling after training sessions.
“It will come down to the player. Having had a knee injury myself it will come down to whether the player is comfortable to be involved.
“He has had a couple of reactions to training recently. It is pretty much the norm but the timing isn’t great.
“He is going to get it. There will be times when he is very, very sore and in a bit of pain and that is when we maybe we have to give him three or four days off the training field.”
With Lee Williamson, Colin Kazim-Richards and Dickson Etuhu facing more than a month on the sidelines, Appleton is hoping to welcome back the likes of David Dunn, Martin Olsson and Josh King sooner.
King is expected to be back in a fortnight as he recovers from a hamstring injury, with David Dunn set to return to training next week, while it is difficult to put a time scale on Olsson’s eye injury.
Appleton said of Olsson: “The risk of these type of injuries is if he gets a similar knock in the same area will it happen again? But that is a risk with any injury.
“It was a freak accident. Once you get the all clear by the specialist and the green light to play football it just comes down to confidence.
“As long as he is confident about heading the ball and putting his body on line then great. We will have to have those conversations with Martin and hopefully he is strong enough mentally to cope with what is ahead.”