KENNY Jackett has ruled out the possibility of sending John Marquis out on loan this season – but admits it would be "ideal" to give the 20-year-old more experience.
Marquis is currently Jackett's fourth-choice striker behind Andy Keogh, Darius Henderson and Shaun Batt, and has been an unused substitute in all four of the Lions' Championship fixtures.
But Jackett says he can not afford to let Marquis go at a time when he is looking to bolster his attacking options in the loan market, rather than weaken them.
He told Lions Live: "We've got a senior squad of 23 players. Three of those are goalkeepers, so we have 20 outfield players. It's not a massive first-team pool.
"I'm happy with it, but if I let too many go out on loan and we pick up suspensions or injuries, it will leave us short.
"That's the quandary that young John is in – he hasn't played in the first four games and he's waiting for his first-team opportunity.
"John played 19 Championship games last year, which is a good total, and if he doesn't play this year it would be ideal for him to go out on loan.
"But if we get injuries and have no forwards around, that makes it tough."