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Interviews

MANAGER: I don't have a set number

A transfer window update from the gaffer

15 July 2022

Having secured signing number six on Thursday afternoon when Fin Back joined on-loan from Forest manager Paul Simpson spoke about the ongoing work as he does look to bring more in, should all of the ducks end up in a row.

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“I don’t have a set number in terms of the size of squad,” he told us. “I think there’s three areas of the squad I would like to strengthen, if we could bring those players in.

“I’m going to be really honest, I don’t expect it to happen before Crawley. I’ll be delighted if we can get one more in before then, but I have to keep reminding myself we’ve got until 1 September to do it.

“I’m trying not to make massive changes to it where it’s a full new group, because I think that can be a really difficult situation. I’m trying to take a medium and long-term view of it and think, let’s not try and do everything in one transfer window.

“That is a challenge, it’s a difficult thing to do, in terms of where we are budgeting-wise. We’ve just got to keep thrashing away for as long as we possibly can.”

On the reasons why some targets haven’t been realised, he said: “There’s a whole host of reasons - finances, location, level, there’s all sorts of things.

“It’s not just one reason, it’s a challenge and we’re just having to be patient. Things can change so quickly.

“Like I said last week, we had a player who was coming in then he wasn’t, and it all changed. It can be frustrating but we’ll be patient and keep our heads.

“We’re working away, and the players we’ve got at the moment are doing everything right and doing everything we’ve asked of them, so as long as they keep doing that we’ll be ok.

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“We’ve just got to hope that over time we’ll get the opportunity to improve the squad even more.”

With an eye on the areas to strengthen already alluded to, he commented: “We’ve got a couple of areas we’re still chasing. It’s just not very easy.

“That’s the challenge we’ve got. We’ve been interested in a whole host of experienced centre backs. We’ve started looking at younger ones and as it stands there isn’t anything imminent.

“We’ll keep looking until the transfer window closes and if we’ve got funds available and the right player comes available then we’ll do everything we can to bring them in.

“The Premier League and Championship teams could present more options. I think through the early weeks of pre-season they tend to want to keep their squads together so they can play two teams for 45 minutes and things like that.

“Now that they’re starting to get closer to the season they’ll start to see what their group is going to look like and who might be surplus to requirements.

“The big challenge we have when it comes to players from that level is that their salaries are absolutely enormous in comparison to what League One and League Two clubs can afford to pay.

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“It has to be massively subsidised by those clubs if they come out on loan, and that’s where it becomes difficult.

“There won’t be many League Two clubs in a position to pay the sort of money that these top level teams are wanting, but that’s the nature of the game. We’ll just keep trying and hope we get a stroke of luck and a club will do a deal with us.”

“And the demands from a lot of players are definitely not lessening. We are getting phone calls from players who maybe thought four or five weeks ago that they didn’t want to drop down to League Two to see if we’re still interested.

“I’m not somebody who will cut my nose off to spite my face, if I believe they’ll be right then I am still interested.

“Sadly, they are still asking for wages that we can’t afford, so we won’t be taking it any further until they realise they aren’t going to get the sort of money they’re asking for from this football club. We’ll just have to wait and see what comes.”

And up front, of course, every team at every level is always constantly looking at who is on the market.

“If there’s on out there who causes interest you’d have to consider it,” he agreed. “When it comes to what you want - just a good one, and I’d like a good midfielder, a good defender and a good number two goalkeeper.

“That’s the only criteria. They’ve all got different tick boxes that they have to go through. One thing I think we are lacking is pace in the team.

“We’ve obviously got Omari and Edmo covers the ground well once he gets going. If we could add a bit more pace to the team that would be my ideal scenario.

“When somebody has a good forward in their club who has got pace, they tend to be reluctant to let them go out. It’s something we’ll just keep looking around for and wait to see what is available.

“The truth is that transfers and loans aren’t something that just happen, it takes days and days of organising. We’re working to try and get players in, we’ve identified targets, and we’re just trying our best to get the right ones into the group to keep improving us.

“Going the other way there are possibly loans for some of the younger players, that might happen over the next couple of weeks, but there’s nothing imminent at the moment. We’ll keep you informed.”


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