DerbyMad: Can you start by updating us on the injury situation?
Phil Brown: Well there is a big blow for us as Mounir El Hamdaouis’ shoulder popped out on Tuesday night. It popped back in causing him a little bit of a problem during the course of the game – he was complaining of pain at half time. That was the reason why I substituted him. We have subsequently had it scanned. Mounir is going to be out for possibly 4 or 5 weeks. Consequently he has gone back to Tottenham top see the physios there. If the scan further reveals that he needs an operation he could be out for 2 or 3 months. I am looking on the dark side at the moment. His loan period could be over.
DM: Which is tragic given that he has scored 2 excellent goals.
PB: It’s a big blow because I was looking forward to seeing the kid blossom because I know what he can do. He is a good footballer. He is a talented lad. He was bright. I think he was starting to look to learn to play with the players around him, and consequently he got his 2 goals in 3 games. That kind of a striker we need. Certainly at this moment in time. Unfortunately with him going back to Tottenham we have lost that. Hopefully one of the others will step up to the plate and score the goals.
DM: Will you be looking to bring a forward in on loan at this stage?
PB: Yes we will do. We will always be looking to improve the strength of the squad during the season. Everybody talks about whether we have got money to spend, and this, that, and the other. I think that the emergency loan system is making it a lot easier for managers to bring a player in when they lose one. When you lose someone who has scored 2 goals in 3 games that would be an emergency.
DM: There was criticism in certain quarters when 5 loan signings appeared at the same time. What would you say to that?
PB: I’m not going to over quote anything in terms of have we exploited the system, or am I critical of the system. I don’t think I need to talk about that. The system said I could bring in as many as I want to. I bring in 5 at one stage because you are allowed to play 5 and I brought another one in to make it 6. Then I’m creating a problem for myself. However Kali Fadiga has now gone back and it looks like there is a possibility that I am going to lose another one unless something dramatically changes. Therefore I will be looking to replace them with another 2 loans. I’m looking for one at centre-half and I’m looking to improve the goal-scoring ratio that we have got at this time. I’ll be looking on those fronts and I don’t think it’s exploiting the system I think it’s [playing to the system.
DM: I don’t think that some of the people who were critical were aware that you can have as many as you want during the season provided that you don’t have more than 5 in the 16 at any one time.
PB: I think the criterion was the description of the word emergency. The only description of the word seemed to be attached to the goal-keeping situation. That isn’t the case now. You are outside of the boundaries of the two transfer windows and they are allowing you to trade.