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Interviews

INTERVIEW: We're always active

14 March 2017

Lee Dykes on the ongoing work in the free agent market

Joint assistant manager and head of recruitment Lee Dykes spoke to us about the ongoing work in the free agent market as the club goes through a tough period of picking up injuries to key members of the squad.

“We’re always active in the free agent market,” he said. “It was a frustrating January for us, although we did manage to get some good faces in the building. We obviously lost Charlie Wyke but that enabled us to go and get those new faces late in the month.

“We’ve always been looking. We obviously brought James Bailey in straight away, who was a free agent at the time. That was the first indication we were looking at that market.”

“You’ve got to be careful because players are out of contract for a reason,” he explained. “However, there is a small minority that are out of contract for a good reason, in terms of being paid up by their club because they weren’t getting game time.

“They could be unhappy with their situation and just waiting for the right opportunity to come along. They’re the ones you look at. You get a lot of young players, or players who have played abroad and want to come and have a few months in the English game. There are a lot of teams for different reasons that need to approach that market.”

“I’m always on the phone to find out what’s happening with players,” he commented. “I tap into people’s knowledge, speak to agents, speak to football clubs and get references on people’s potential. That’s part and parcel of my daily activity.

“We’ve looked at four or five serious possibilities over the last two weeks. We’re always trying to organise bounce games to keep our squad players topped up on minutes. Within that, because we’ve got a thin squad, we have opportunities for trialists to come in and showcase their abilities.

“In the recent bounce game against Burnley we actually looked at a player for next season, so we are forward thinking. Because of that we’ve now got a couple of opportunities to bring in two players who could potentially come in and play a part in our squad.

“We’re at a point where we feel it’s a good time to do that. The injuries we’ve had have been the worst I’ve known at a football club. If you look at our injury bench at the moment it would get into the starting elevens of most League Two teams.

“We don’t want that to be an excuse, but I think you’re seeing that in our results. We’ve got a very good squad, but it is thin on the ground at the moment and we are concerned about the injuries. That’s why we’re looking to add numbers if we possibly can.”

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