Updated: Jan 30
With the transfer window drawing to a close, Phil Parkinson is happy that he’s added Kyle Lafferty, Bailey Wright, and Josh Scowen to his squad, but would like one, or two, more players in before the start of February. "I'd still like another addition, maybe two, but there is also a chance there may be none - that's the way it is," said Parkinson. "The deals to get Josh and Bailey took a while, and there are one or two players that we are waiting on who have said they can only let us have players if they get players in themselves. We've been in the situation with one or two targets that we just can't get them over the line. It's not down to finances, it's other considerations. One particular player, the club won't let him go on loan until he signs a new contract so those negotiations have dragged on, then another one has got other options in the Championship so we can't get that deal done. Then we've had a deal agreed with a player since the first week in January, the emails have gone backwards and forwards and it is all agreed, but they have missed out on a player. We're pleased with what we have got, but if there are more additions – great. I think those (forward and a wingback) are more or less the positions we are working on. We want cover for Denver Hume but left wingback is a difficult position to fill. We have Luke O'Nien who can play there because he is two-footed, and Conor McLaughlin is also a good wingback who has played there a lot in his career, particularly at Fleetwood. We've also got Lynden Gooch who can play wingback and, while we don't really want to take him away from where he has been playing, we do have that option. We're working on it and if it happens that will be good, if not we will run with what we have got."
Parkinson is still hoping to move Will Grigg on, but reckons if the Ulsterman stays, he’ll play a part in our season. "I wouldn't say it is 100 per cent that something will not happen for Will [in the window], but at the moment it hasn't," said Parkinson. "Will and I have had a good chat this week and if nothing happens, he is happy to stay here and fight for his place and make a contribution. But equally, if someone comes in for him and we can get another player in and it suited all parties. If the window closes and Will is still with us, that's great, he'll get on with it and make sure he contributes between now and the end of the season. If something comes up and we feel we can get somebody else in, we'll also look at that. We have had phone calls about Will because he has a proven track record. I feel with Will that, given the shape of the team, he wouldn't be so isolated. When I first came, and the earlier games I watched, when it was 4-2-3-1 there was a tendency for him to get isolated and you have to run in behind in that system. Will needs people around him and the shape we are playing at the moment with the wingbacks high and players in and around the number nine, he would have more people around him to take the weight off him in general play. But he has to work hard to get in the team, if he is still here."
PP also gave an update on Aiden McGeady, who has been training with the U23s since December. Parkinson said: "I always thought that that would go to the wire. I haven't spoken to Aiden or his agent - [head of football operations] Richard Hill and [head of recruitment] Tony Coton will be doing that. I feel something will happen, but it has to be something that Aiden wants and the clock is ticking, we're still hopeful that something might happen."
Ahead of the trip to Tranmere, the gaffer has given an injury update and it seems that Duncan Watmore and Will Grigg will miss out. “Duncan unfortunately picked up an injury when he came on during Friday’s game,” he said. “It’s nothing serious but Wednesday will probably come too soon for him. Griggy has been ill with a virus. We have kept him away from the training ground because we don’t want that to spread. Kyle picked up a dead leg during Friday’s game and missed the practice match we had on Saturday. He has since joined back in on training and done well so should be ok. We have players who are waiting for the opportunity to stake their claim once again so it’s good to have those options.”