Here are the key points from his pre-match press conference:
There’s no news on new transfers. We’re still working hard but there will be nothing before the weekend. Our targets remain the same but we do have different options. There’s no rush, but we are trying. I don’t want to speak about speculation and players that we’re being linked with. There are going to be loads of names thrown about. Again, we have seen another one thrown out today by Sky Sports – where that’s come from I’ve no idea. We’ll just stay focused on the job in hand. We know exactly what we need and everyone is working very hard on that.
We haven’t had any bids for any of our players apart from the one for Leo (Da Silva Lopes). Everything else is quiet. I haven’t said a word to Leo (about it), I don’t need to. When he was coming through at Peterborough, he was linked with everybody. It never bothered him though. Nothing phases the boy whatsoever. He just got on with his football. I’ve spoken to his agent, but Leo and I only speak about football. The stance from the football club is very clear – Leo is not for sale.
It’s good for us. Hopefully, we can get a good crowd in and get a lot of people watching us in action against Premier League opposition. Then it’s down to us to put a good performance in and hopefully get some of those new faces to stick around for the rest of the season and support the team. That’s the opportunity for us. It was a nice draw. It was nice to get a home tie but it’s still a few weeks away. It will be a tremendous test for us and we’ll look forward to it when it comes along.
Norbert (Balogh) has been back with us for the last three of four days and will be involved in tomorrow’s U23s fixture against Bolton Wanderers. Having been out for ten weeks, it’s important for him to get some minutes and game-time under his belt. We’ve had Josh Magennis back with us as well, so we’re looking a bit stronger at the top end of the pitch. He’s only trained with the rest of the squad today though, so we’ve got a decision to make with him overnight.
Stephen Kingsley will be back on the training ground a week on Monday, while Callum Elder will be back training on Monday. Things are starting to look a bit better on the injury front now. ‘Keano’ (Keane Lewis-Potter) trained today after getting kicked in the Rotherham tie at the weekend. Jon Toral and Kevin Stewart are still four or five weeks away in terms of training with the group but it will take them some time to get back up to speed again after that. Everyone is working very hard – both the players and the physios.
It was nice to progress in the FA Cup and it was a nice bonus to get Chelsea at home in the Fourth Round. But, we are firmly focused on the league campaign. Our number one objective is to do as well as we can in the league. It’s going to be a really tough game for us against Fulham on Saturday. We’re coming up against one of the best teams in the Championship in my opinion – definitely one of the best footballing teams.