Hopes of a fresh, healthy face popping up before boys board the bus to Preston look to be on the wane, that's the word in Ferret's ears.
Darren Carter – once whispered to be heading back here if Safs had gone off to The Hawthorns – and United youngster Ryan Shawcross are the two names doing the rounds of late; neither seems immediately imminent as both Sir Alex and Baggies chief Tony Mowbray figure out what they're going to do this season.
Likewise old Curbs at West Ham if Davenport was still on the gaffer's radar; all three could fall into the category of giving it 'Look, give us a week or so to see how it settles down…' as Gunny gets on the blower again.
“I still think we're one or two players short – but it's trying to get them,” said Granty at Colney this morning.
“A lot of clubs are trying to keep them within their squad – and I understand that. Because of the transfer window, if they let too many out they don't have any back-ups in their own groups.
“But it's frustrating as well because you see some of these guys that you know won't get a game for the first three, four months of the season and they could be down here, doing themselves justice and playing.”
The current hope is that a few new signings – and the Baggies appear to be still in the midst of their summer shopping spree – and the boys concerned will be even further off a first team place.
“Maybe managers will bring other people in and that makes other people available – and we have to be on the ball with that. We've got our eye on a few; hopefully, we can do something in the next couple of weeks – but who knows?”
By Saturday? That No5 shirt has been without an owner all summer long. Shawcross was due to feature in United's trip to Glentoran last night and the club's 125th birthday bash against the Old Trafford giants. Where the 19-year-old goes next is something for Sir Alex to decide.
“By Saturday? Probably not between now and Saturday – no,” was the word from the gaffer this morning. Needs might must, he admitted if the sickness spreads.
“If I go back in and there's a few more out… perhaps that'll be Jim Duffy.”
As for those he's likely to miss, slip of the tongue or not but it was the strike department that Granty used as an example of just how quickly this game can bite you on the butt.
“If you'd said to me a couple of weeks ago: 'Yeh, you've got six strikers…' and then all of a sudden you're down to two, or three, the other night there, you'd think that everything was hunky-dory and then you get a few injuries – and it can be in one position…” Which would tally with Messrs Cureton and Martin being among the BBQ-gate victims.
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