Bristol Rovers boss John Ward faces competition in chase for Stoke midfielder Matt Lund
Bristol Rovers boss John Ward admits that he faces competition in his attempts to bring Stoke City midfielder Matthew Lund back to the Memorial Stadium on loan.
Ward has lodged a bid to with the Premier League club to bring Lund, 22, back until the end of the season for what would be his third loan spell – but says that another club has also expressed a desire to take him temporarily.
The Rovers boss is hoping to find out what Lund's plans are in the early part of next week and he explained: "I spoke to Stoke about Matty on Thursday.
"They are prepared to let him come back (on loan), but, as I understand it, there is another club that has come in for him. The situation will be resolved with a 'yes' or 'no' early next week I'd have thought, but we'll have to wait and see.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"I liked Matt as a person and a player, but it is something that is out of my hands at the moment."
Ward, meanwhile, knows that the additions of further new faces to the squad are required quickly after this afternoon suffering his first defeat since succeeding Mark McGhee last month.
First-half goals from Gillingham pair Chris Whelpdale and Deon Burton at the Memorial Stadium were all that were required to keep Martin Allen's promotion-chasing side on top of League Two.
Rovers, meanwhile, remain in the relegation zone following the 2-0 defeat and Ward confirmed that a striker to add some physical presence remains his top priority after deciding against offering recently-released Aldershot forward Guy Madjo a deal following a short trial period last week.
Ward said: "There is still a lot to be done (in the transfer market). I promise that I will do my best to get what we need. A striker is a priority as we are a bit light up there.
"Our hands are tied a little bit in terms of how many loan players we can have and how much money we can spend. I'll be straight back to work tonight to assess what players are available to help us.
"I've spoke to a lot of players and agents this week, but whoever we bring here has to fit into the wage structure. It is a little bit of a juggle, but I'm not grumbling about it."
Ward, meanwhile, won't be returning with a second bid for Leicester City defender Cian Bolger after being priced out of a deal – but could be forced back into the market for another defender after Garry Kenneth twisted knee a knee shortly before half-time against Gillingham.
The Scotland international was substituted and left the ground on crutches and Ward expects to be without his skipper for 'quite a while'. Striker Joe Anyinsah also failed to return after the break with a hamstring problem and Ward admitted: "Those little setbacks didn't help us, but I thought Gillingham's experience and strength told in the end.
"We tried to match them in the way we set up, but we succumbed to two really good goals and I've got no complaints over the way my players went about their job.
"We are a relatively young team, but the players showed fantastic spirit and desire. We're not going to win every football match, but if we play in that manner every week, then we will give ourselves the best chance.
"I'm going to go home and sleep well tonight because the players have gone and given me everything in an effort to win the game. The quality we needed to win it, however, was not quite there, particularly in the final third. If we can improve on that, then I hope we can go and give Fleetwood a game next weekend."
Ward hopes to have striker David Clarkson (ankle) and defender Jim Paterson (hamstring) available for the trip to Highbury.