Manager Keith Hill has given an update on Jason Kennedy, his search for two central defenders and Rhys Bennett’s injury in his latest Dale Player interview.
Bennett, who agreed a new deal with the club on Wednesday, missed the last eight games of the season after damaging his knee in the defeat away at Bristol Rovers in March and Hill says he is making good progress as he continues his rehabilitation.
“I’m glad that he’s committed and that he wanted to commit,” Hill told Dale Player. “He’s a determined character and he wants to learn; that’s what I like. If he listens to the advice and puts that into action then he’ll be a very good player for us.
“With Rhys the first step for him now is to finish his rehabilitation from injury then we'll integrate him back into the training programme. He has been doing a lot of work over the summer with the physio and I think he should be ready for the start of the season. He won’t be ready for the start of pre-season though so he’ll be playing catch up.”
Hill admitted last week that recruiting two central defenders is now his priority and he says work is continuing in order do to that, but stresses he won’t be rushed.
“I’ve hit the cross bar this week with a central defender I wanted to recruit. He is very experienced and I feel disappointed that I’ve missed out because I thought I was in a position where I was going to recruit him. He can’t turn down the opportunity to play in a higher league and that’s the only thing that has gone against us with respect to what we’re trying to achieve, how we’re trying to achieve it and our playing style. He was more than compatible with all that and wanted to come but the chance to play in League One has fallen against us.
“I won’t be lead into a situation where I panic and won’t be able to get what I want or what I need. As long as I have got everything in place in the last week in July/first week in August then we’ll be more than prepared with the players that we have got.”
Jason Kennedy is now the only out of contract player offered a new deal who is yet to accept or decline. Hill gives us a fresh update of the situation.
“He’ll make his own mind up but the window will probably close on that after the weekend. It’s not a catch 22 for me because I can replace him, but it is for him. This is me being a football manager and not me being Jason’s friend because there is a difference. I’ve got no worries about the situation and whether or not he signs for us because we will be successful with or without him.”
More on this plus much more is in a 20 minute interview with the Gaffer on Dale Player now. Listen in full HERE.