Pool step up search after defender blow

Blackpool's Jeffrey Rentmeister
Blackpool's Jeffrey Rentmeister
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Blackpool have upped their efforts in the transfer market, with a defender now top of their priority list.

Jose Riga met with chairman Karl Oyston yesterday to discuss potential targets after discovering that Jeffrey Rentmeister could miss the next three games because of an ankle injury.

Manager Riga said: “We spoke about needing wingers and strikers with some qualities, but the injury shows one other position is centre-back.

“We have Donervon Daniels, who did well against Brighton, though we didn’t have Peter Clarke (who was ill). Peter is a boss and I don’t have a lot of bosses on the pitch. But it wasn’t just on Saturday we had this problem. We need one more in this position.”

Belgian Rentmeister limped off late in Saturday’s goalless draw on the south coast, forcing Pool to finish the game with 10 men as all three substitutions had already been made.

Pool have had problems in the transfer market ever since Riga’s arrival in June, with the manager constantly in dispute with Oyston over the club’s recruitment policy.

However , The Gazette understands Pool have made enquiries about a number of players identified by Riga as potential signings.

But the manager is not holding his breath in anticipation of the deals being done.

Riga explained: “Sometimes they have told me that we are very close, and that maybe (a signing would be completed) for the next game, but we are so far from a solution that I really don’t know.

“I don’t want to dream, so I’ll just refer to the players I have.

“I’m still working. I can make a choice of player but managing the deals is not my job. We will see what happens.”

Rentmeister, who was handed his second Championship start on Saturday after Clarke’s late withdrawal, underwent a scan yesterday morning.

And with the season’s second international break taking place next month, the 30-year-old may not play again until the second half of October.

Riga explained: “It is his first injury, so he is very unlucky. It is his ankle and we are waiting for the test results to know exactly what the problem is.

“I was happy for him on Saturday because in his first game (at Wigan last month) I put him out of position.

“He did well against Brighton and we hope his injury isn’t serious because we already have four players injured. He has worked hard to reach this level, so I hope for the best.”

Riga’s war of words with Oyston continued over the weekend. The manager responded in yesterday’s Gazette after Oyston told the BBC’s Football Focus programme that he didn’t regret offering Riga’s job to Burton boss Gary Rowett a fortnight ago.

But now Oyston has told The Gazette the situation is getting better.

The chairman said: “My relationship with Jose is improving all the time. We certainly understand where each other is coming from better than we did.

“We are both trying our hardest to take the club in the right direction now.

“As for progress in the transfer market, we are clearly aware we need to strengthen. I had lengthy chats with Jose at the end of last week and on Monday and we are both agreed we need to add players.”