Gill: New Loan Duo Have Added Energy
Friday, 5th Feb 2021 10:30
First-team coach Matt Gill says Monday’s two new youthful loan signings, striker Troy Parrott, who came in from Tottenham, and right-back Luke Matheson, from Wolves, have added energy to training this week.
Parrott, who turned 19 yesterday, and Matheson, 18, have both caught the eye in their first few training sessions at Playford Road.
“They’ve both made really good impressions,” Gill said. “New faces always add to the competition in training and I think that it’s really added an energy to the group this week.
“It’s really good to get them in and I’m excited to see them perform in an Ipswich shirt also.”
He says new signings generally lift a group of players: “I think that’s always the case, you have the summer and you have the January window, it’s always the case that new faces add energy to the group.
“It obviously creates competition for places which is also good and always good and it’s certainly done that this week.”
Gill says he can see why the pair are so highly-regarding by their parent clubs: “Luke burst onto the scene [at Rochdale] and got his move to Wolves and we’ve kept an eye on him for a while. He provides a bit of competition in that right-back spot and also cover.
“I’ve been lucky enough to see Troy play quite a few times, either in the Spurs U23s or in his international debut [for the Republic of Ireland], so I think they’re two really good additions to the squad.”
Asked about their youth, Gill agreed that they could provide some exuberance and fearlessness.
“I think it has a knock-on effect to the rest of the squad, like all the loan signings have made.
“Obviously, because of the salary cap and the financial predicament of the world at the moment, being at that young age they were going to be the sort of players that we could take.
“Having seen Troy play quite a bit he’s really impressive and looking forward to seeing him play for us, and Luke the same.
Regarding Parrott’s attributes, Gill added: “I think from this week, he’s obviously a very natural finisher.
“I’ve spoken about that ruthlessness that we had [in the away game] at Blackpool and hopefully, Troy could provide that.
“Obviously coming off the back of a semi-disappointing loan at Millwall [where he featured infrequently and failed to score] having picked up a couple of niggly injuries, so I would image we’re probably getting him at his hungriest, and I think that’s exciting for everyone.”
“Obviously, we’ll get to know him even better over the coming days and weeks.
“But I think certainly last season against us, but also that game [for Rochdale] against [Manchester] United [in the Carabao Cup, in which he scored] sticks in my mind.
“They interviewed him at his school I think the next day, which everyone smiled about. But a real energetic lad to come into the group and I’m sure they’ll add real value to the squad.”
Asked whether Matheson’s recruitment will see skipper Luke Chambers move back into the middle of the defence, Gill said: “I just think it gives us variations on who can play and options who can play across that back four, which is also a positive.”
Town now have six loanees which means one of them will have to miss out on a place in the squad every match.
Winger Keanan Bennetts won’t be involved tomorrow as he is in the U23s side at Watford today as he continues his comeback from his groin injury.
Quizzed on whether six is too many loanees, with the Blues’ hand forced somewhat in the January window due to the League One salary cap and tight finances as a result of the pandemic, Gill said: “I would say having options is always positive and I’ll always see it as that.
“Obviously, with what’s been happening in the world in the last 10 or 11 months, we’re not the only club that have had to go down the loan route. And if you add the salary cap to that, I think that every club has been pushed that way.
“I’m really pleased with the signings we’ve made, I know they’re loan signings but I think any time you can get to strengthen the squad with fresh faces is good.”
He added: “I think the salary cap coming in is one thing, obviously we were maxed out on that in the summer.
“And of course, with the current financial climate of the world, I think you saw Premier League clubs paying small fees and loans, so if it’s even happening at the top end of the game, you’ve got to really expect it in League One.
“I think I would say I feel positive about the business we’ve done and hopefully it can have a positive impact on the team and the squad.”
Town now have a huge squad, certainly by League One standards, and a number of senior pros are likely to be on the sidelines unable to win a place in the 18 every match.
Asked whether it will be tricky to keep everyone happy, Gill said: “I’m always happy, you know me! As a staff and manager, we enjoy having that competition for places, players need to really be at it.
“But also you have to look at the schedule, I think we’ve got 12 games in the next five and a half weeks from tomorrow, so I think everybody in that squad is going to be important to having a strong finish to the second half of the season.”
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