Hurst ready to loan in a centre-back and says he ‘100% expects’ Knudsen to stay
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town boss Paul Hurst says he is ready to use the loan window to further strength his squad – with a centre-back very much on the agenda.
The Blues boss admitted today that ‘there are a couple of deals that we perhaps missed out on’, with one of those players Blackpool defender Curtis Tilt.
Captain Luke Chambers and new signing Toto Nsiala are the only senior options in the heart of defence at present, with Janoi Donacien having been signed as a right-back and youngster Luke Woolfenden potentially facing up to six weeks with a knee injury.
Confirming that he doesn’t expect to do any more business before the 5pm deadline for permanent additions, Hurst said: “I still think we will probably have to look at the loan market for one or two more between now and September.
“I’m not going to get too hung up on whether I feel they can be turned into permanents. You’re assessing every day. What can happen between now and that (loan) window closing is injuries and whether you think you need to change anything.
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“In truth, I think I’ve got a pretty clear idea of what I’d like to bring in positionally.
“Centre-back is an obvious position (to strengthen further). Luke Woolfenden went for a scan and could be out for six weeks.
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“Realistically we are back to the position we were in with two recognised centre-backs and ones who can fill in. It’s not ideal and we’d certainly prefer a more specialist person to create competition for Luke and Toto.”
On Town’s attempt to sign Tilt, Blackpool interim boss Terry McPhillips said: “The latest that I know is that they couldn’t agree a fee.
“That’s all I know, I might get to find out more, but I don’t know of any other clubs interested.
“Curtis is a fantastic lad. He’s a terrific pro. He’s only been in league football for one season. He had a year at Wrexham in the Conference and before that he was playing further down in the non-league pyramid. So to come in and do what he did last year is nothing short of outstanding.
“The lad obviously wants to better himself and play at a higher level, but I can’t speak any higher of Tilty.
“My only surprise is that more clubs haven’t come in from the Championship. It’s really surprised me.
“If you’re any good at scouting, there’s an obvious one at the pitch at Bloomfield Road. He’s as quick as Des Walker, he’s really competitive and he’s got better and better with the football. He’s a winner.”
Meanwhile, Hurst said he ‘100% expects’ Jonas Knudsen to remain a Town player after today’s window shuts. The Danish left-back has attracted firm interest from Championship rivals Middlesbrough and Aston Villa after both missed out to Fulham in attempting to sign Joe Bryan from Bristol City.
The Blues boss added: “I think a lot of situations will change after today in terms of people knowing the permanents they’ve got. If they’ve got who they wanted then suddenly there will be more players available. We’re no different to that.
“I haven’t circulated anyone’s names for loan or anything like that. After today I will make people aware that we might have some people available if they want to take them on loan.”