NIGEL CLOUGH says that Burton Albion may be made to wait for answers from clubs when trying to bring players in during January, but he hopes that the festive period will provide more clarity over the availability of players.
There are three Championship matchdays between now and the start of the transfer window, with clubs having use utilise the depth of their squads in order to cope with such a busy schedule of fixtures.
With every Championship club also playing on the first or second day of 2018, early January deals are unlikely, but Clough says enquiries have already been made for players, but he does not expect any deals to be concluded quickly.
He said: “We have made some calls in the last couple of weeks and we have made enquiries about players, which have got the usual replies at the moment: ‘yes, if we get somebody in then they should be available’.
“So, we will keep going over the festive period and we will keep pestering people and asking if they are any closer to getting replacements in. The problem is that we can’t watch anybody because most of the players that we are targeting are subs or outside of squads.
“They might get used over the Christmas period and then you have got the FA Cup third round on the sixth of January, a lot of teams use their squads for that.
“I would think it would be mid-January before we get a definitive answer on any of the targets, we are trying to line one or two up but nobody will commit at this stage.”
During their first January transfer window in the Championship, the Brewers brought in numerous players who had a huge impact on securing survival. Cauley Woodrow and Lasse Vigen Christiensen joined on loan from Fulham, Luke Murphy made his first loan switch from Leeds and Michael Kightly joined on loan from Burnley, while Marvin Sordell and Luke Varney joined on permanent deals.
Clough is hoping that next month’s window can have a similar impact, but has stressed that Burton will only bring in players that will improve the current squad.
He said: “It had such an impact last season, I think we are in a similar sort of position this season, we were probably a little bit better off 12 months ago, but the signings that we brought in had a huge impact in securing our safety, so we are hoping for a similar sort of January.
“We can only get the players that we think are going to improve us and we can only get the ones who are available, that is dictated by the market as much as anything. We have got our targets.”