INTERVIEW: The work has already started for next summer

The obvious question to ask our head of recruitment at this stage of the season is about the winter transfer window, with it now being just over a month away, but he confirmed today that there might just be an even more important window to be considered, with the continued improvement in mind.

“Work has already started for the summer window,” Greg Abbott told us. “That’s the big window because if you get that right you should only need to do a small amount of work in January.

“That’s where we are now because of what we did last summer. Luckily for us, our squad is pretty good. We’ve seen in the last few weeks that we’ve had injuries, but the lads who have come in have done really well.

“They’ve probably given the manager headaches, but they’re good headaches to have. It’s also good for me because it means we aren’t desperate for players in January, which is always the hardest time to get them in.

“No one in our league is going to give us a player who can improve us, so you’re then looking either up or down.

“The ones from leagues above are expensive, and the ones from below maybe don’t have the experience to make us any better for what’s hopefully going to be a push towards the top end of the table.”

“But January is still on the radar,” he continued. “I had an hour before training with Paul this morning because let’s remember we still have five weeks until January.

“We’re quite happy right now, and the thing about the winter window is you should only bring people in if they’re going to make you better.

“I’m not so sure with the depth and strength of the squad at the moment that it’s going to be easy for us to do that.

“We’ve put some things together for Paul in the areas where he thinks we might need, and we’re always looking at what would happen if certain things went wrong.

“We think we’re ok with the contingency list we have now, and we’re all going to look again at that next Thursday to fine tune it further. Should we need a position covered or strengthened we’ll be in a position to do that.”

And discussions with the powers that be have confirmed that there could well be wriggle room in January should it be deemed necessary.

“We spoke to the board and they’ve said that if we do need to push the boundaries in terms of finances for getting a player we want into the club, one who will make a real difference, then we need to put the case together, present it, and leave them with a decision to make,” he explained.

“If we can show that even if it’s a deal that’s a little bit more expensive, if it’s realistic they’ll look closely at it and see if they can make it happen. That’s all you can ask for.

“It’s our duty to find these players and, if we genuinely think it’s good for the club, we have to give the owners a problem by explaining why.

“We have the assurance from them that if something like that crops up, they’ll look at it very closely. Again, that’s all you can ask for.

“In the meantime I’ll also be looking at things like cost, affordability and the likelihood of the player or players agreeing to come here so that we’re in an even better position to move if we deem it necessary.

“But, let’s also keep it in mind, we might not need any of it. If we keep winning, playing well and picking up points it could be that the right thing to do in January is absolutely nothing.

“My part in all of this is to make sure that at any given time we’re able to twist, if the manager feels we need to, or we’re able to stick because the recruitment work already done means we’ve got a squad that’s driving us on.

“He has peace of mind either way because he knows there’s a group of players who’ve been looked at should he want to push the button.

“Behind all of this is the fact that we want success for the club. He wants it and I want to do what I can to help him get it. I’ll keep trying to find the ammunition he needs because there have been ups and downs here for too long now. It’s time for some sustained ups again.”

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