GARY ROWETT has moved swiftly to strengthen his injury-hit Burton Albion squad by making two loan signings.
Wigan Athletic centre-half Rob Kiernan and Swindon Town winger Luke Rooney have both agreed to spend a month at the Pirelli Stadium — and are set to make their debuts in tomorrow’s League Two encounter at home to Northampton Town, kick-off 3pm.
The pair will give Rowett the cover he needs while central defenders Marcus Holness and Nathan Stanton and the midfield trio of John McGrath, Chris Palmer and Jimmy Phillips are sidelined by injuries.
Rowett said: “I’m delighted I’ve been able to bring in two players who I think will be good additions to the squad for the next month.”
Rowett revealed he had tried to sign Republic of Ireland under-21 international Kiernan during the summer.
The Brewers boss said: “I approached Wigan about bringing Rob here but they didn’t want to let him out at the time. Now they’re happy for him to come and get some games.”
London-born Kiernan, 21, has still to make his senior debut for Wigan, but has gained League experience on loan to several clubs and also has also been capped 10 times by his country.
Rowett said: “I’m very, very pleased to get him because he fills one of the positions where we have a few injuries.
“He’s a leader, he’s dominant in the air and he’s good on the floor. I think he’s a terrific loan signing.
“I’m really grateful that (Wigan manager) Roberto Martinez has allowed him to come to us because they think he’s capable of playing at a higher level."
Rooney, who is also a 21-year-old Londoner, first caught Rowett’s eye playing for Gillingham and was a member of the Swindon squad that won the League Two title last season after making a six-figure move to the County Ground.
Rowett said: “I’ve liked Luke since the first time I saw him playing against us for Gillingham.
“He’s really talented on the ball and is a little bit different to our other wide players. Luke’s a little jinky winger who was part of Swindon’s success last season.
“He hasn’t played as much as he would have liked this season because they’ve moved things on since promotion.
“Joining us gives him a great opportunity to come and get some games under his belt.
“It’s been a case of constantly monitoring the situation at clubs and our chief scout Paul (Molesworth) has good links with Swindon.
“He came up with Luke’s name and I’d noticed that he’s been in and out of the side this year.
“You could see even at Gillingham as a young player he had undoubted quality and he made things happen.
“We’re fortunate that it’s fallen at the right time. A month of games will suit him and I’m sure he will be chomping at the bit to get going.
“Both he and Rob are relatively young players who are keen to come and make an impact with us.”
Rooney said: “As a footballer you want to play regularly and I’m no different. All I want to do is play first-team football.
“I had a season in League Two last year and know all about it. Burton have had a great start and hopefully I can go there and help them continue that.”
With Holness nursing a hamstring problem, Rowett is waiting to hear the full extent of the Achilles injury picked up by Stanton in Tuesday’s Capital One Cup tie against Bradford City.
The Brewers boss said: “We think Stanno has the early signs of tendinitis and I think it’s going to be a week or two before he plays again.”