One of the first jobs for the new head of football operations at Mansfield Town, Greg Abbott, must be to make sure in-form striker Tyler Walker stays at the Stags for the rest of the season.
That’s the view of manager David Flitcroft, who is determined to keep leading scorer Tyler at One Call Stadium as he prepares to keep the Stags in the League Two promotion mix over the next four months.
Walker joined from Championship neighbours Nottingham Forest at the end of June for the start of a season-long loan — and it has been a success as the young striker has hit 15 goals in all competitions to help fire the Stags into the top three.
But that goal tally has led to speculation the 22-year-old could be recalled by the Reds, where a run of indifferent results has put pressure on manager Aitor Karanka as Forest target promotion to the Premier League.
Flitcroft, speaking after Saturday’s goalless draw with Swindon Town extended the Stags’ unbeaten league run to 16 matches, said: “The first priority on Greg’s list is to make sure we get that (loan) nailed. We ned to make sure we get the contract boxed off and signed over.
“There is always a break in season-long contracts if the parties decide. They always leave it open so a player is not trapped or a club is not trapped.
“But the initial agreement was for a year.”
Flitcroft said both himself and Walker, who has netted 11 league goals, were aware of the speculation surrounding the young striker.
The manager added: “I have spoken to Tyler on it, but he is super committed to what we are trying to do and he has shown that in the four months we’ve had him.
“We have a really good relationship with Forest. We have delivered in what we’ve tried to do for Tyler and how we’ve looked after him.
“We have treated him as one of our own — like Ryan Sweeney (on loan from Stoke City) and Timi Elsnik (on loan from Derby County).
“Sometimes loans don’t work, but only when the communication is not right or you haven’t committed to it. But we have kept everyone in touch with what’s going on.
“It’s worked for Tyler and it’s worked for us. He is a big part of the players. He’d do anything for them and them for him. He’s in a good place.
“Hopefully by the end of the season he can double his tally.”
Walker said after the Boxing Day 2-1 home win over Bury: “I don’t really know what’s going on at Forest. I wish them all the best and want them to do really well but I am concentrating on what is going on here.
“I am really enjoying my football. It’s a good club to be at. We are in a great position and hopefully we can kick on from here.”