BURTON Albion are expected to sign an experienced League One defender on loan – possibly as early as today – to cover for injuries and suspensions.
Boss Gary Rowett went to watch a left-sided centre-half play in a training match yesterday.
He will be needed this weekend, with Rory Delap struggling with a hamstring strain and Ian Sharps and Marcus Holness both suspended.
“It’s a player we’ve been watching for quite a while,” said the Brewers boss. “It’s someone we’ve been looking to bring in for some time.
“He’s an experienced player, in League One at the moment.
“If he does well (in the game), we might bring him in.
“We’ve been looking at left-sided defenders as it’s something we feel we’re missing and now is the perfect time to do that.”
Albion are down to the bare bones at the back ahead of Saturday’s home clash with Scunthorpe United.
They only have Phil Edwards, Zander Diamond, Liam Slade and Damien McCrory fit and available.
Rowett feels that it is too soon to ask Slade – who made his debut as a substitute in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to AFC Wimbledon – to start a match at League Two level.
With Delap likely to be missing, he wants to keep Edwards at right-back rather than bring him into the middle and put Jack Dyer, the only available option, at full-back.
“Without doubt I could play Phil in the middle, which is his preferred position, and he’d be very good there,” said Rowett. “But it leaves us short at right-back because we’re not sure Rory’s going to be fit for the weekend.
“We’ve not made a definitive decision yet and are weighing up all our options.”
There are no long-term worries over Delap, who has missed the last two games with a slight strain to his hamstring.
“Rory’s okay,” said Rowett. “He did a bit of travelling last week and just felt his hamstring tighten.
“He did a bit extra training on Thursday as it looked like he’d be fit for Saturday, and he felt it tighten again.
“He’s not quite right.”
As for Saturday’s defeat in South London, Rowett is still frustrated at his side not giving themselves a chance of ending their losing run, with Holness’ early red card hitting their hopes.
“Ian Sharps being missing has disrupted us and now Marcus Holness is missing, which is going to disrupt us further,” he said. “We’ve got a few injuries and we don’t need players missing down to stupidity.
“The rest of the players worked hard and tried to get us out of it, and maybe 3-1 was a bit flattering on Wimbledon in some ways, but we need to give ourselves a chance in games.”