ANDY RITCHIE won’t be panicked into rushing for a new signing after scrapping plans to import injured target Robbie Williams.
The 22-year-old suffered a hairline shin fracture in training with Barnsley and could be out for two months – wrecking hopes of a three-year contract which had already been agreed at the Galpharm.
Ritchie, who takes a strong squad to AFC Emley on Wednesday (7.30), confirmed today: “The deal is off.
“The board and coaching staff will chat things through today, but I don’t see how we can move forward until Robbie is fit. When that happens, maybe we can look at the whole thing again because he’s a really talented player – and I’ve told Robbie we will keep him in mind – but at the moment it’s a big disappointment.”
Ritchie did not know Williams was training at Oakwell. He turned up using one crutch for his Gapharm medical (after kicking the bottom of Paul Heckingbottom’s boot while shooting in a practice match) and was immediately sent for an X-ray.
“It’s a real shame but I’m not going to panic,” added Ritchie.
“I was quite happy to start with Joe Skarz at left-back and push Robbie forward, but we’ve got other players who can operate on the left-hand side and up front, so we’ll look at that.
“If anything happens to Joe, then we could look at the loan market and, of course, I’ve still got the leeway of the money from Gary Taylor-Fletcher should another possible signing crop up.”
On the issue of Williams training, Ritchie added: “I’ve no qualms with him doing some work, but maybe Robbie should have thought twice about taking part in a physical contact match. Maybe Barnsley, too, having agreed a fee to let him move on, should have erred on the side of caution.
“But these things happen and you just have to get on with it. I’m disappointed for ourselves and also for the lad, but maybe we can go back to the deal in a couple of months.”