Grant on the hunt for the new Kightly’
City boss Peter Grant has admitted that he will leave no stone unturned in his search for fresh talent. He continues to scour the loan market to bolster his injury-hit squad but is also looking outside the professional ranks to turn the club's long-term fortunes around.
City boss Peter Grant has admitted that he will leave no stone unturned in his search for fresh talent.
He continues to scour the loan market to bolster his injury-hit squad but is also looking outside the professional ranks to turn the club's long-term fortunes around.
Whitley Bay's prolific non league striker and Newcastle trialist Lee Kerr has reportedly emerged on City's scouting radar and Grant insists the gems are out there.
“Look at the boy (Michael) Kightly at Wolves - he's done exceptionally well,” said Grant, on the former Grays' midfielder who has struck five goals since his New Year Molineux switch.
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“We'd be doing ourselves a disservice if we didn't note players. If there is some hopefully we can find them. We've been linked to a few boys. People have talked about trials, but I'd like to see when we could get them down. The problem at the moment is having a free week when we don't have a game.
“It's something I want to ensure - that we look everywhere. Top, middle and bottom. There are a hell of a lot of players at the big clubs. They take them in, keep them and then release them.”
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Grant admits the academy system has its flaws, saying: “Look at the amount of players released from the likes of Man United and Liverpool who don't even go into the lower levels. They go straight to non-league - it's incredible. Some come back and do exceptionally well. You have to remember they are only young men. Given the right coaching some can come again very quickly.”
The high-stakes scramble for Premiership survival appears to have stalled Grant's loan search.
“We're finding it nearly impossible,” he said. “So many in the Premiership don't know where they are going to be - whether they are fighting for Europe or the four or five who still don't think they're safe. That is the biggest problem, that middle group. All the managers are saying they haven't got a big enough squad to cope with the schedule.
“It's all right bringing in bodies, but I want quality not quantity. I'd rather have my boys here fit because I've no doubt they are better as a group than anyone I could bring in.”
Grant, however, is prepared to sanction a further Orient loan spell for striker Ryan Jarvis.
“He's got this week left,” said Grant. “If we don't pick up an injury I will probably look to extend it. It's a 24-hour call-back so I'd be loathe to bring him back and sit him on the bench or in the stands. He needs games and you can see the benefit from playing matches.”