Here’s a look at some of the news making headlines today in our division.
- Newport County have signed Wolverhampton Wanderers forward Aaron Collins on loan until the end of the season. He returns to Rodney Parade, having left the club back in 2016. His parent club Wolves signed him on a two and a half-year deal. He’ll be cup-tied for their clash with Leeds though, having featured for National League side Maidstone in an earlier round.
- Coventry have signed Jordan Maguire-Drew on a six-month loan after he returned to Brighton. I’ll be looking at his Imps stay in more details later. Cov boss Mark Robins told his club’s website: “We targeted Jordan during the summer and unfortunately missed out, so we are very pleased to be able to bring him in now. He has great technical ability and quality, and is a scorer of goals, so we are delighted to get him through the door and for him to start with us.”
- Port Vale are reported to be close to agreeing a deal for Bournemouth loan player Ben Whitfield (pictured). Whitfield, who has also been linked with a move to the Imps, has impressed in his recent loan spell and is coveted by several clubs at this level. Neil Aspin is keen to keep him at Vale Park after guiding them away from the foot of the table.
- Craig Slater has underlined the similarity in quality between the English fourth tier and the Scottish second tier by moving to Dundee United. The 23-year-old has managed just four League Two appearances for John McGreal’s side this season, all as a substitute. He moves to Tannadice on-loan for six months, although his U’s contract expires in the summer.
- Dale Vince has backed manager Mark Cooper after a miserable Christmas that saw him end up sat in the stands thanks to being sent off. Vince has said “We went on a good run a few weeks ago and pulled ourselves off the bottom. We’ve been hit by injuries and suspensions, the usual football story and the transfer window opened on Monday. We get the chance to bring some fresh players in and pull ourselves out of the drop zone. I am sure we’ll do it. We thought we’d done enough over the summer but we hadn’t and we’ll learn from that. I think Mark is the right man. We’ve got a long future together as we push up through the leagues. This is a minor bump in the road and if it was easy it wouldn’t be so worthwhile would it? I quite happily accept this adversity and we’ll come through it and be better for it.” If you need that deciphering, he said ‘we’re going to throw money at the problem.’
- Yeovil have lost two of their loans players also. Swansea City defender Keston Davies (pictured) and Millwall centre-back Sid Nelson have both returned to their parent clubs. Nelson is reported to be in the process of agreeing a loan move to Chesterfield, whilst Davies has had his season-long loan terminated after he failed to get a place in Yeovil’s first team. Davies had been brought to Huish Park as Swansea’s captain of their Under-23s side. However, after playing 45 minutes in the club’s opening day of the season at Luton Town, he was to feature in only one further minute of League Two football, with his three other appearances for the club coming in the EFL Trophy.
- Cambridge United have signed Adam Phillips on loan from Norwich City until the end of the season. The 19-year-old midfielder came through the Liverpool academy before joining Norwich last summer. He’s been the captain of their development side, but they’ve identified his need for competitive football and thus loaned him to their near neighbours.
- There is uncertainty over the manager’s long-term position at Cambridge. They’ve confirmed that Shaun Derry will remain as Cambridge United’s head coach, but nothing more. The club had stated that Derry’s contract, which expires in the summer, would be reviewed after their four festive fixtures, with Derry tasked with playing entertaining football and winning as many games as possible to save his arse. He allegedly fulfilled both of the required elements, picking up eight out of 12 points while the U’s scored seven goals in the process. However, today U’s bigwig Gordon Daniels has stated; “talk of new contracts is not high on anyone’s agenda. I said just before Christmas that stability was vital at that point for the club – and we have all seen the way the team have responded positively on the pitch.” I suspect Shaun Derry will be preparing his CV in time for June.