Lincoln City manager Mark Kennedy has told supporters the club’s current injury crisis will not prompt a move in the transfer market.
Ben House and Tyler Walker, the club’s main strikers, will both likely be out until Christmas or beyond. Danny Mandroiu missed the weekend’s fixture and the EFL Trophy defeat at Derby, as did St Lucia international Reeco Hackett.
That’s prompted some to suggest the club may turn to the rather sparse free agent market, featuring the likes of Connor Wickham, to plug the gap. However, in the wake of the Derby defeat, Mark Kennedy revealed he has no plans to knock on the chairman’s door looking for a new player.
“I’m not knocking on anyone’s door saying can I have an extra player,” he said, in response to a question from BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s Rob Makepeace.
“Look, we’ve lost two. Are we bringing any more in? We’ve got, hopefully, Jack Vale. Fingers crossed, he will have a good week behind him with Blackburn this week. He’ll be with us next Monday, all being well. We’ll have to be really careful and creative with his minutes.”
Vale was signed on deadline day before the extent of injuries to Tyler Walker and Ben House was known. His arrival was always likely to be delayed due to his carrying an injury, something the club was aware of at the time he penned his loan deal.
Kennedy refused to bemoan his luck, instead complimenting the Imps’ board on giving him more than he asked for, including signings Ethan Erhahon and Ethan Hamilton.
“I think the board and I have a brilliant relationship in that they’ve been incredibly supportive of me this year and last year,” he added.
“I’ve never gone knocking on the door saying, ‘Can I have this, can I have that’ because I don’t work like that. Equally, I think the board has been really proactive, positive, supportive, and fair. I didn’t ask for Ethan Erhahon, Ethan Hamilton, but they said to me, ‘Mark, we’ve got a player here who is really talented; we’ve got money available if you think he’s the right player for us.”
“To answer your question, we haven’t got planned talks, I’m getting on with what I’ve got, and I’m quite happy with that.”
There’s an awful lot of bad luck around Lincoln City at the moment, with a growing injury list. Both senior strikers, House and Walker, are likely to be out by Christmas, and Vale will need time to get match fit. That leaves them without a recognised pressing forward, something integral to their game.
However, the free agent market doesn’t offer value for money; it’s littered with aging strikers or players with injury issues last season. The club could do damage to their long-term strategy by recruiting now as a knee-jerk reaction rather than trying to find a solution within their squad.
That said, the Imps have the fewest touches in the box in League One this season, so to lose two strikers now is a huge blow. It’s certain to damage any top ten aspirations they might have had.