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Schofield excited by arrival of defensive additions

17 January 2023


Schofield excited by arrival of defensive additions

17 January 2023

Danny Schofield says it is a major positive for Rovers to have significantly bolstered the defensive ranks by the mid-point of the January transfer window.

Rovers have secured loan deals for both James Brown and Ben Nelson from Blackburn Rovers and Leicester City respectively for the rest of the season.

“We’ve been watching and evaluating both players for a while now and to get that over the line by mid-January is very pleasing,” head coach Schofield said.

“They both trained as though they’ve been here a couple of weeks and they’re ready to go.”

Schofield felt quickly securing a new option at right back was important following the sale of Kyle Knoyle to Stockport County last week.

Brown spent the first half of the season on loan at Stockport before being recalled by Blackburn, which paved the way for a switch to the Eco-Power Stadium.

“With Knoyley leaving and us understanding that he was probably not going to be here next season, to recruit James so quickly as a replacement, is a real positive for us,” Schofield said.

Both Brown and Nelson trained with the rest of the Rovers squad for the first time on Tuesday and will be in line to make their debuts in Saturday’s home game with Tranmere Rovers.

Like Brown, Nelson spent the first half of the campaign on loan in Sky Bet League Two and made 12 appearances for Rochdale in his first taste of senior football.

Schofield believes Rovers will reap the benefits of the 18-year-old having already picked up experience this season.

“More often than not the second loan spell is the more productive for the player,” he said. “They’ve already been out and seen what men’s football is all about, what the first team environment is all about. So hopefully we get the better version of him from that experience.

“He’s integrated in really well with the lads from day one. We’ll sit down and discuss in more detail the way we want to play. He’ll be well aware of that and his role and responsibilities within that framework and we’ll get him up and running quickly.

“There’s a lot of noise around Ben in terms of his potential and where he can get to in his career. There’s a lot of talk about him one day playing at the very top.

“He’s at a great club in Leicester City with the Academy there that develops players and gives them an opportunity,

“We watched him for a while, both at U21 and during his spell with Rochdale and we feel he can come in and make a real impact for us.

“He’s very young but he has lots of potential and we feel his attributes will benefit the way we want to play football."

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