Joint assistant manager Lee Dykes on the transfer window activityJoint assistant manager Lee Dykes reflected on a busy day of activity on Tuesday which saw Jamie Proctor and George Waring join the Blues on half-season loan deals.
“We’re pleased with the activity we had over the last few days of the transfer window but we’re also frustrated,” he said. “We had a couple more targets we wanted to bring in, and one in particular was really frustrating because we couldn’t get it over the line for personal reasons for the player.
“That was disappointing, but there’s always an opportunity to work the free transfer market. Through the closing stages of Tuesday there were players being released by clubs almost minute by minute, so that makes them available to look at.
“We kept in mind through deadline day that there would be some value in players like that after the window had closed, and that’s something not a lot of people always recognise.”
“I have to say, we’re over the moon with the fact we got Proctor and Waring over the line,” he added. “Jamie is proven at this level, and above, and he’ll give us an immediate impact on the pitch in terms of his physicality, his presence up the top and what he can do for other players around him.
“He can score goals from inside and outside the box and he’s another we’ve monitored for a couple of years. George, believe it or not, was on the list when we were bringing Charlie Wyke in. That’s how highly we think of him. He’s got a massive future ahead of him.
“We went to watch him on Monday night, just to consolidate our thinking, and he did himself no harm at all. He’s had some fantastic loan spells in recent years but we believe we can give him the platform to go on and build his career.”
On what the striking duo will bring to the mix, he said: “Let’s not shy away from it, when you lose your top scorer it can be very hard to replace. You can’t guarantee that whoever you bring in will then go on to get you 18 goals.
“It just doesn’t work out that way. That’s why you have to use the collective knowledge of the staff and a forward thinking approach to recruitment. We feel we’ve done well with the two we brought in but our business is in no way finished. We’re still looking out for a couple to top up the squad.
“I’ll take this opportunity to wish Charlie all the best because he’s a fantastic boy. If anybody deserves to go on and propel their career it’s Charlie Wyke.
“We’ve heard people talking around the club already about whether or not we’re stronger at the end of the window than we were at the start, but that’s always difficult to answer. We’re in a situation now where I think we’re very strong.
“We are thin on numbers, and we’ve had a couple of injuries to players in key areas, but if you’d told me at the start of January we were going to bring Gary Liddle, John O’Sullivan, George Waring and Jamie Proctor into the group, I think I’d have taken that.
“The situation we have with the manager is that he doesn’t want players around him who can’t get into his team. If he feels a player can’t make it, they’re not for him. The good thing now is that every member of that squad could get into his eleven.”
“As I said, we want to add more faces, but we won’t panic,” he insisted. “We’ve lost our top scorer and you’re bound to be wounded when that happens. However, there is enough out there to allow us to top up the squad with attributes which will add to the group in a positive way.
“If it turns out the players we want aren’t there, we won’t be adding for the sake of it, it’s as simple as that. We were finding during the transfer window that targets were dropping out of our reach by the minute, and that was for a number of reasons.
“That in itself makes it very difficult, but we have enough knowledge of players and attributes to allow us to do things in a considered way, which is good.
“The danger with transfer windows is that you can start to panic. There were a few which went through on Tuesday which I just couldn’t believe. In the end it worked out well for us and I’m really excited to see the bodies we’ve got here with us now. The challenge for the new lads is to get into Keith’s team and, once they’re in there, stay in it.”