Lancaster City boss dismisses criticism over club’s use of loan market

The Dolly Blues manager has tapped into the market to bolster his squad on several occasions – and it has caused some consternation among other clubs in the division.

At the start of the season, City acquired promising young striker Sam Fishburn from Carlisle United.

The 18-year-old then enjoyed a prolific spell, scoring eight goals in nine appearances before being recalled by the Cumbrians.

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Sam Fishburn enjoyed a prolific loan spell at Lancaster earlier in the season (Photo: Tony North)

In recent weeks Fell has opted for youngster Joe Rodwell-Grant from Preston North End, while for most of the season City have used goalkeepers on loan in the form of Aidan Dowling and Felix Goddard, both of Blackburn Rovers.

Ideally, Fell would prefer to have permanently signed players on his team.

However, in the current financial climate, the club often have no choice but to work diligently in the loan market to bring in players who can help, even if it’s on a temporary basis.

After being hit with a number of injuries in recent weeks, combined with the loss of key members of his team who have left for new pastures, Fell has come a long way to fill the gaps in his squad.

“I know we’ve been criticized, along with Bamber Bridge, in terms of the amount of loans we’ve had,” Fell said.

“But that’s where we are, that’s where we are as a club. That’s where Brig is.

“We are not in a position to go and pay £200, £300, £400 a week for a centre-half, for example.

“On the one hand, there are very few players who are worth this and, on the other hand, we cannot afford to do this.

“Getting a loan for £100 a week is probably where we are as a club.

“The quality of those loan signings is the big question. Can we find the right player ready for this level of football?

“So that’s what we’re doing. Work with professional clubs to see what players are there and if they are the right fit.

“If it was easy, we would all do it, but it’s definitely not.”

Last weekend, Storm Eunice secured City’s scheduled fixture against South Shields – who climbed top of the table on Tuesday night following their 3-1 win over the previous

Matlock Town leaders, has been postponed.

This weekend, City travel to lowly Gainsborough Trinity – and the game kicks off a five-game series against teams that are mid-table or below.

Currently in 12th place, City will also face strugglers Hyde United and Nantwich Town over the next month as well as Stafford Rangers and Morpeth Town who are in 10th and 11th place respectively.

It’s a great opportunity for the Dolly Blues to have a great run and propel themselves into the calculation of the play-offs.

“We won five on the rebound earlier in the season and if we were to do it now, it would put us up there,” Fell said.

“I’ve provided some information for the players along with a bit of a breakdown of the rest of the season.

“We reminded them of what they are capable of. We trained on Saturday, Tuesday and will train tonight – then we leave for Gainsborough on Saturday.

“It’s a place where we’ve generally done well and we’ll see what we can achieve. We will take each game as it comes, but we have eight games against eight teams below us in the table and it will be like eight cup finals for us.

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Priscilla C. Carnegie