Ahead of travelling to Southend United this weekend, manager Michael Appleton spoke of his delight at getting the majority of his transfer dealings completed ahead of the deadline at 11pm tonight.
Michael said that planning going forward, in the short term and long term is vital and with the early transfer window signings of Tyreece John-Jules and Tom Hopper it highlighted the importance of good preparation following the departure of Tyler Walker back to his parent club on Thursday.
The Imps’ manager was naturally disappointed to see Walker return to Nottingham Forest but it was always something that he and his staff planned for, and the same applied to Joe Morrell and Jake Hesketh but Michael confirmed they are now both confirmed to be staying at LNER Stadium for the remainder of the season.
“The reality is we always knew that potentially it could happen and that’s the reason initially why we acted fast with Tyreece at the time as there was a lot of clubs after him. We’ve done very well to get in Tom Hopper from a long-term point of view and Tyreece in the short term.” Michael said.
“From a footballing point of view, we had to put ourselves in a position where we didn’t have to react quickly, we’ve [already] got the players in there with Tom and Tyreece, but if we get the opportunity to do something else between now and the deadline to add a little more strength in depth then we will do.
“I think it’s difficult unless you get it set in stone that when you do a season long loan, there’s always a period of time where the parent club can do something.
“It would have been no different with Joe, you have to get the balance right, it’s one thing having loans from bigger clubs but we have to put ourselves in a position where we have less loans in the squad and they’re our players. We have to be in control and come the summer that will be the case.”
The Imps’ manager announced other positive news with the imminent return of Michael Bostwick, the experienced player is overcoming his recent injury problems quicker than expected and could be back involved within a couple of weeks.
“We thought that he would be out at least until the end of February or early March before returning but we’ve had some positive scan results over the last few days and he maybe back as early as the second week in February. That’s the one that made me a little more confident with the cover at centre half, we’ve got someone as experienced as Bozzy is, who has played over 600 games, likely to be fit in the next couple of weeks.”
In terms of cover, Michael was of course commenting on the additions of Akeem Hinds and TJ Eyoma who joined up with the City squad yesterday, and he says they will provide excellent competition and cover for the more experienced players in the group.
“I think from Akeems’ point of view we gave him a six-month contract to put Max [Melbourne] under pressure. We need cover in that position, but it’s an opportunity for him to come in and press and push Max as hard as he can.
“TJ, he’s a loan, he’s got massive pedigree coming in from a top, top club, he’s captain of the Spurs under 23’s. We’re hoping that Bozzy is fit as quick as he can but it’s sensible to have cover. He’s a young lad, but he’s a physical specimen and a tough character as well.”