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Defender Search For Groves!!

By: Paul Holmes
Date: 01/11/2002

TOWN manager Paul Groves is in a scramble to sign a centre-back in time for Saturday's game against Gillingham as the midweek injury to Paul Raven has left Groves with only Simon Ford as a recognised centre-back with Raven joining Steve Chettle on the injured list.

Groves was forced to reshuffle his pack just 11 minutes into Tuesday's goal feast with Burnley. Tony Gallimore stepped inside as an emergency centre-back with Darren Barnard dropping to left-back. The same contingency plan was used when Raven was sent off in the Rotherham game but the 5 goals conceded on Tuesday suggests changes should be made.

Groves and club captain John McDermott are back in training this week but it is unlikely that either will be in the starting eleven come Saturday.

Another option available to Groves is to throw either Greg Young or Kirk Wheeler into the team but that is also an unlikely scenario with both only just settling to life in the reserves.

Therefore Groves has cast his net out and is on the look out for a loan defender as he revealed to BBC Radio Humberside with Groves as always refusing to leak any details until any deal is signed, sealed and delivered.

"We're working hard behind the scenes to try and secure somebody, whether we're able to do that or not we'll have to wait and see," Groves said. "We're looking at centre-half, It's an area where we're down."

"Things look reasonable, but it only needs something minor really for the deal to breakdown, so we're not counting on anything at the moment."

One player who springs to mind straight away is Blackburn's Andy Todd. The classy defender has failed to make one single appearance since moving to Ewood Park in the summer from Charlton and Groves is a well known admirer of Todd following his loan spell at Blundell Park last season.

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