Loan Deal Imminent?

Glenn Roeder hopes to have completed a loan deal by the end of next week - and director Trevor Brooking reinforces the manager's view that competition for places has to be increased both this season and next.

The move has been precipitated, but not just forced, by the injuries to Steve Lomas and Don Hutchison  sustained last weekend against Middlesbrough, and Glenn says: "It has certainly made us hurry up though I was looking to do it in any case because the numbers we work with are low

"We are looking very hard but we are looking at quality only. I have targeted one or two and hopefully I will have some news by the end of next week."

The latest name to be linked is French midfielder Jocelyn Gourvennec, but Glenn says: "There are a lot of ordinary players out there but what is the point bringing them to the club?

"I have been saying for months that there is no need to get in players that only sit on the bench and can't do the job that we want them to if they come on.

"I have been offered many, many players like that but I have got one or two targets and there is a distinct possibility that, come the end of the week, we can hopefully get one of those in."

Adds Trevor, who attended Thursday's board meeting where doubtless the matter was discussed: "You get loan players pop up all the time but what you want to do is get someone who is good and who you would like to offer the opportunity to stay after that.

"But there is no real point in getting a big name player in for the sake of two or three months on loan who might not perform.

"What you want is somebody who is a bit hungry, keen, and who is actually going to put some work into it and look on it as a way to get a permanent move.

"We don't want anyone coming for a cruise. We have got a big squad but not the depth and quality we want, so if we get a loan we want someone who is going to play a part rather than be on the fringe all the time."

Trevor says that entering the InterToto cup this summer would not be the right thing to do, and explains: "At the moment our main focus has to be to strengthening the squad to give it better depth, give Glenn more chance of competition for places and a little extra mettle away from home.

"Unfortunately, most weeks Glenn is probably having to think 'who do I risk playing?' rather than 'who do I have to leave out here?'

"It would be a different problem to face - who am I going to upset by leaving out?

"That is the aim we have got to get to next August, and with the InterToto you'd have players who have played for England in the World Cup having a month or less off, so I think it is one to keep away from this time.

"We want to start off this next season more optimistically, looking at a top half of the table slot and a better run in the cups because of a better depth than we have been able to provide this year.

"We are very organised with Glenn but there hasn't been the depth of squad to work with - and that has to be a top priority."

Meanwhile, responding to claims that he was considering selling Fredi Kanoute to bring in Michael Ricketts from Bolton, Glenn says: "It is not worth commenting on, it was so way off the mark."