Loan deal could give Kirkland the game time that he craves

Chris Kirkland has made three League Cup appearances for Sheffield Wednesday this season.
Chris Kirkland has made three League Cup appearances for Sheffield Wednesday this season.
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Sheffield Wednesday manager Stuart Gray may allow former England goalkeeper Chris Kirkland to leave the club next month, writes Richard Hercock.

Kirkland has not played a Championship game this season due to the sparkling form of 
Republic of Ireland international Keiren Westwood.

He has made three appearances in the Capital One Cup, the 33-year-old’s last outing being the 7-0 drubbing at Manchester City.

Kirkland is desperate to get some football, and head coach Gray may consider a short-term loan move out of S6 for either Kirkland, or youngsters Cameron Dawson and Joe Wildsmith.

League One Coventry City, where Kirkland started out, have been linked with their former goalkeeper, but Gray believes he could attract Championship suitors.

“People will look around and realise we have got a quality ‘keeper sitting on the bench,” said Gray.

“I don’t know if Coventry have got problems with their goalkeepers but I would imagine Championship clubs will be looking at Chris because of the quality he’s got. At this moment, I’ve had no conversation with them.

“He (Kirkland) has expressed a desire to play. He wants to play but he’s got somebody in front of him. I would be disappointed if he was just happy being sat on the bench and picking up his wages.

“We have Joe Wildsmith out injured at the moment. Once we get him back, we may consider letting Chris go out for 28 days to get some football.

“He’s not happy he’s not in the team which I can understand. But one thing he does do is he comes in, works hard and pushes Keiren Westwood.”

Gray is desperate to bring in a striker to bolster his forwards.

“We need to freshen it up and get new faces in,” said Gray, who is optimistic of extending the loan spells of Royston Drenthe, from Reading, and Watford’s Lewis McGugan.