Hurst makes ‘difficult’ decision to not extend Brendan Kiernan’s Town loan

Brendan Kiernan Grimsby

Hurst makes ‘difficult’ decision to not extend Brendan Kiernan’s Town loan

Brendan Kiernan has returned to Walsall after Grimsby Town manager Paul Hurst decided not to extend his loan deal.

The news comes as a slight surprise, given that the winger has featured 28 times for the Mariners since joining the club in the summer.

But the 30-year-old’s four goals – two of which came in the FA Cup victory over Plymouth Argyle – proved not to be enough for Town to pursue a longer deal for his services.

“It was a difficult one for me because he’s been in the team more often than not,” said Hurst.

“I think he’s had a pretty good period with us and his versatility to play wide and down the middle has certainly helped at times.

“However, just because of our loan situation and me wanting to freshen things up a little, I just felt in the end that was a big factor in the decision.”

The Mariners boss has already dipped into the loan market a number of times this season, with Andy Smith, Lewis Richardson, John McAtee and new arrival Mikey O’Neill all at the club on a temporary basis, while Keyendrah Simmonds and Aribim Pepple have already returned to their parent sides.

With EFL rules stating only five loanees can be confirmed in a matchday squad, Hurst said he feels his side may need the fifth loan spot for a different type of player and that was the “deciding factor” in Kiernan returning to Walsall.

Discussing whether he’ll be looking to bring in another wide player, the Town manager admitted he needs to be “looking at all the attacking positions”.

“As I said before, in an ideal world, we’ve got to start putting the pieces together so it all fits,” he added.

“If that means we could get a permanent player in a certain area of the pitch then that, obviously, would help with the loan situation that we have.

“It’s not straightforward again, as it wasn’t back in August. But we continue to work to see what we can do because there’s no doubt we want to bring players in – we make no secret of that.”

Hurst also confirmed the club failed in its bid to bring a new forward in on loan last week, as the Mariners are looking to bolster their options up top following the injury to centre-forward Ryan Taylor and the side’s overall lack of firepower in front of goal this season.

“We missed out on a player at the end of last week and that’s been the case on a few occasions,” he added.

“He went to a club that’s in a division higher, so I guess in some ways it’s understandable, but I still feel we would’ve been a good option.

“But such is life and we can’t dwell on that one now – we move on and see if we can secure one of our other players that we’ve highlighted.”

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