Stags’ boss Adam Murray believes the attributes possessed by deadline day signing Alex Iacovitti makes the youngster a quality addition to his defensive arsenal.
Murray completed a season-long loan deal for the Nottingham Forest defender this evening after fellow loanee Kyle Howkins suffered a hamstring injury in last night’s Checkatrade Trophy defeat to Doncaster Rovers.
And the manager believes Iacovitti, who Murray described as an ‘old-school centre-half’, provides Stags with good balance in their defensive ranks.
“He’s somebody that [there’s] a very good presence about him, left-footed, which will give us balance [and he's] very aggressive – he’s an old-school centre-half who can also play,” Murray said.
“[He’s got] very good pace, I think we [saw] the difference that it makes having that little bit of pace at the back with people like Pearcey (Krystian Pearce), Tafty (George Taft), Kyle (Howkins), that little bit of pace helps and Alex has that in abundance.
“We’re very happy to bring him in to the building. He played left-back in the first game for Nottingham Forest v Burton, so he’s somebody that gives us cover in that area that I believe we’re a little bit light in so he comes in as a centre-half but to play at left-back in the Championship, it proves that he’s comfortable there as well.”
The 34-year-old said the club had to move quickly to capture the Scotland under 19 international, with a host of other clubs vying to secure his signature.
“[It] got a little bit stressful this afternoon because I didn’t know if it was going to happen and if we were going to have to look elsewhere but we got our target and we’re very happy to bring him in to the club.
“[There was] a lot of interest in Alex. He’s had a very good start to his season personally; he made his debut, played the first couple of games for Nottingham Forest and now they believe it’s time for him to go out and try and get some regular football. There was a lot of interest in him so we’re chuffed to bits to bring him in to our team.
“I think obviously being local to Forest helped [to complete the deal], but I also think the guys down there know what we’re trying to build here and it’s a good environment to come in to.”
The gaffer continued: “I think you’ve seen the progression Kyle’s (Howkins) made in the short time he’s been with us. It’s a growth period for the lads coming on loan but it’s also a situation where it helps us become stronger as a team, so it works for everybody.”
Murray was forced to delve in to the transfer market today after suffering injuries to defender Howkins and midfielder Jamie McGuire against Doncaster last night, and the boss says the prognosis of the West Brom loanee isn’t positive.
“It’s not good at the minute. Kyle’s ‘done’ his hamstring. How bad, we’re not 100 percent sure until we get the scan results back but from the diagnosis last night and the way it’s feeling today, the physios are predicting it’s not going to be a short amount of time, hence why we’ve moved so quickly to bring Alex in.”
Supporters can view Adam Murray's interview, in full, on Stags PlayerHD.