Bristol Rovers boss Mark McGhee in no rush to enter loan market
BRISTOL Rovers boss Mark McGhee is set to offer the players already at his disposal an opportunity to prove they have what it takes to replace injured skipper Matt Gill.
Gill has been ruled out for at least a month after having exploratory surgery on a knee problem earlier this week and McGhee is considering re-entering the loan market to find an experienced campaigner to play alongside youngster Oliver Norburn.
The manager, however, confirmed yesterday that the likelihood is that "one or two" players may have to move out before a new face can arrive and will rely on the existing players in his squad to fill the void at Burton Albion tomorrow.
McGhee hinted yesterday that Matthew Lund is the favourite to take Gill's place tomorrow, although Wayne Brown is also in contention after impressing as a second-half substitute against Northampton last weekend. The manager could also move defender Adam Virgo into midfield as another option, but is without Northern Irish youngster Seanan Clucas, who suffered a knock as a development side won 3-0 at Swindon on Tuesday.
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"The obvious one really is for Matt Lund to go back into midfield," said McGhee. "There's also Wayne Brown, who came off the bench and did well against Northampton, so we have options.
"Losing Matt (Gill) maybe does leave us slightly inexperienced and that is a bit of a concern, but they are young lads desperate for an opportunity.
"We brought these players to the club over the summer fully intending for them to be first-team players and they now have to stand up and take their chance if that is required.
"We have some work to do before we get another player in because we are close to the salary cap at the moment.
"We can't just keep going into the market because these financial rules are there for a reason.
"You have to abide by the rules and that is why we are being sensible and prudent in our dealings.
"We'd have to do some work in trying to get one or two going out to make it happen."
McGhee is also concerned over the fitness of striker David Clarkson, who sustained an ankle injury last Saturday and the manager admitted: "It was always going to be touch and go, but it is more touch than go at the minute.
"We'll have to wait until a bit closer to the game before we make a final decision on David."
Striker Derek Riordan received treatment on a sore hamstring yesterday, but is expected to be fit to face a side which McGhee enjoyed the most handsome victory of his nine-month tenure after a 7-1 victory at the Memorial Stadium in April.
"I have discounted that period out of my mind because a lot has changed with both them and us since that day," said McGhee. "I think they would have been a bit embarrassed by what happened and may be looking to put that right.
"We didn't gloat about it on the day and we haven't gloated about it since. It's a new game against a team we have a lot of respect for, who will certainly give us a much more difficult game than they did that day."
Burnley remain tight-lipped on speculation linking boss Eddie Howe with a return to League One club Bournemouth.