SIGNING an emergency goalkeeper isn’t Ian Holloway’s only big problem this week – the Blackpool boss has to do so without unsettling the only senior stopper he has available.
Blackburn’s Frank Fielding, Tottenham’s Ben Alnwick and Preston’s Andy Lonergan were names in the frame – but Holloway is anxious not to be unfair to Richard Kingson, his last man standing for the No.1 spot with Matt Gilks and Paul Rachubka injured and Mark Halstead on loan.
Holloway revealed that Blackburn would only sanction Fielding’s move to Bloomfield Road if he was guaranteed the first-team jersey.
The manager said: “It is very difficult to get someone but we will be cracking on to see if we can convince a club to loan us a player to either sit on the bench or go in our team.
“But if he is too young, how can I put him above Richard Kingson?
“How can I tell Rich, ‘Sorry, I have to play this young kid’?
“How can I bring in an inexperienced 19-year-old ahead of Richard, who is Ghana’s No.1 and has done so well for me? It has been a problem.
“I could have had a goalkeeper from Tottenham (Alnwick) but we play them on Tuesday (of next week).
Alnwick could not face his parent club under Premier League rules and Holloway added: “So what is the point of taking him? We would be in the same boat. What can I do?”
Teenage trainee Chris Kettings was on the bench for Saturday’s draw with Aston Villa but Holloway is keen to bring in a more experienced campaigner ahead of the Spurs game.
Scotland Under-19 international Kettings kept a clean sheet at Leigh Sports Village last night, when Pool Reserves defeated Blackburn 3-0.
Holloway added: “Chris is a good prospect and is developing much better than we thought, but he isn’t really ready for the Premier League yet.
“We obviously haven’t got the strength in depth a lot of other clubs have and that sometimes makes it difficult, but Saturday was a great afternoon for the boy.
“He probably watched Match of the Day and was pointing at the screen going, ‘Look at me, I’m on the bench!’
“He is going to be a really good goalie but he was catapulted on to the subs’ bench and in an ideal world that wouldn’t have happened.”
The Seasiders been given special dispensation to make a signing outside the transfer window because of their goalkeeping crisis.
“We need another goalie as quickly as possible but we are grateful to the Premier League because we have 25 players in our squad already,” said Holloway.
“We are only allowed a one-month loan but everybody we asked last Friday said no.
“No-one really wants to loan out their second keeper and the clubs with lots of them, like Chelsea and Arsenal, have all their keepers registered for the Champions League, so that is a no-no.
“Anyone in and around us in the table won’t loan us one. We have asked them, very politely and very nicely, but we had no joy.
“We ran out of time last week but we will try to solve it during this week.”