With his loan spell up this week, and a further injury complication last week: Iron gaffer Alan Knill has confessed that loanee keeper Sam Johnstone’s future with Scunthorpe United is up in the air.
On loan from Manchester United, the 18 year old has spent the last 2 months in North Lincolnshire: but has missed the last 3 games owing to his dislocated finger, and the latest complication that occurred.
Having suffered the dislocated finger a fortnight ago when training with parent club Manchester United a fortnight ago, the same finger suffered damage again for Sam last Wednesday.
And with his loan up during the coming week: Scunny manager Knill said that he wasn’t sure at all as to whether he would be fit, or whether they’d be able to extend his loan.
If Johnstone recovered in time – and all parties were happy for him to stay at Scunthorpe for longer: it would be the 2nd time his loan spell with us was extended, potentially lengthening his spell with us to 3 months.
As was the case with Shane Duffy: as we revealed here – http://anyoldiron1.blogspot.com/2011/10/duffy-to-stay-for-3rd-month.html and may follow a similar precedent for the Iron.
It is thought that the Iron management setup are keen to keep the keeper if at all possible, but with it not as yet clear how long he’ll be out for, or what the chances of further complications are: it may just be out of the Iron’s reach.
Again – it then becomes unsure as to whether the Iron would stick faith with Sam Slocombe in goal, or look to bring in another keeper in on loan to theoretically replace Johnstone.
That said, with Slocombe having played the last 3 games for the Iron, kept a clean sheet: and see the Iron undefeated – it might not sit too well with some to see him dropped for the medium to long term.
And as befits the lack of communication, it hasn’t been revealed as to how long it may well be before Josh Lillis is back from injury as well.
So the future make-up of the Iron’s goalkeeping situation is very much in the air still.
Slocombe has played well of late, although will be disappointed with Tranmere’s first – when he really should have punched the throw in – instead of trying to catch it whilst on top of Eddie Nolan. And then Tiryaki’s prod somehow managed to creep under the ex-Bottesford keeper’s legs.
But he performed excellently for the rest of the game: making a great stop when Scunny were 2-1 down, preventing the 2 goal cushion that would have killed the game.
And frankly: anyone who says Johnstone hasn’t committed errors in a Scunny shirt is fibbing or forgetful. Anyone remember Walsall’s first?
So quite frankly – who knows!? The Iron certainly do have an abundance of good keepers: but finding a fit couple would be a very nice start indeed!