United boss John Sheridan heads into this weekend’s season opener against Exeter City in confident mood having seen his team pull together and gel through an intense pre-season schedule of training and friendly fixtures.
But he confirmed again this week that he’s looking to bolster the squad ahead of the closure of the summer transfer window [Thursday 9 August, 5pm].
“I’ve made it clear that I still feel we need two more players to add to what we already have here,” he said. “It won’t happen before the weekend but I’m positive that it’ll be done before the transfer window closes.
“We’ll concentrate on the weekend without any new faces, which I’m comfortable with, because I’m confident that I have a strong enough eleven to deal with that.”
“Everyone knows I want a wide man and a right-sided centre back,” he continued. “If I add those two positions to the group it will be a really strong squad, with people competing with each other in every area.
“They’re the two positions I’d like to bring in, so hopefully we’ll get that sorted next week.”
Having already been linked with Anthony Gerrard, who appears to be moving on from his present club Oldham Athletic, the manager played down rumours of an immediate move for the experienced defender.
“It’s just speculation,” he insisted. “He’s a player who is available and everyone knows I like him. Whether or not I can get him, I don’t know. I think people keep linking us because he’s played for me at Oldham.
“There are three or four right-sided centre halves who I’d like to take, and if I can get one of them I’ll be chuffed to bits. Just watch this space, it’s whoever I can get in before the window shuts who will do the job for us. He’s going to be the man.”
And another recent rumour to hit social media was an outgoing move for Cole Stockton, before next Thursday’s deadline passes.
“At this moment in time nobody is going anywhere,” he said. “Cole is someone who isn’t figuring as much as he would like, and it’s probably one if something had to happen, and it released finances for me, that we could look at.
“But I’d have to think about whichever player anyone spoke to me about. To enable me to bring somebody in I have to try to generate money from somewhere, so if a move is to release funds for me to bring other people in, we’re going to have to do that and work round it.
“As things stand, every player who is available is going to be involved. If something happens before the deadline, then so be it. Whoever is here is involved with me as part of the team and, while they’re here, I want them working hard and thinking they are part of it, because I’m going to need all of them.”
Speaking more about the squad he has for the trip to play the Grecians, he said: “I’m happy with where we are at this moment in time.
“As I keep saying, I would like to strengthen us up in one or two areas so that we have people competing against each other. I don’t want any player to feel comfortable that he’s going to be playing every week.
“I think they all know I won’t be frightened to change my team, win or lose, because if I feel a player can perform better against a certain type of opposition then I’ll pick him.”
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