Loan market most likely way of recruitment
KEITH Hill’s squad shuffling exercise began in earnest this week with the departure of Andy Cannon, Sam Hart and Brendan Moore while Rory Holden came in on loan.
The Dale boss acknowledged he needed to make some moves during the January window and feels the loan market will be his best outlet for recruiting new arrivals.
“As much as I want to try to run with a youthful squad and bring players in and integrate them, we are very mindful of points on the board and how much we need them,” he said.
“There will be a lot of clubs in our league doing a lot of good business, I get that. We will try to do as much business as we can to make us stronger and better but it is a very difficult market for us, it always has been.
“We have a set budget and we have to run with it throughout the course of the season and teams that are in and around us, below us, tend to find money from somewhere and invest and spend it. That’s what we’re up against.
“From a football perspective, I expect any team, myself included, to be better than we were at Doncaster.
“It’s a difficult situation, it always is, every season. The new chairman has embraced what we are trying to do and we have to come up with our own way of achieving that success.
“It will have to be loans. In terms of permanent transfers, we have a few players going out which should loosen up a bit of money within the budget.
“If I can get the right permanent signings, I will, but the majority of time, at this stage of the season, it will be the loan system.
“I’m not primarily targeting defenders. I cannot solve the solution of my fullback area of the pitch.
“We thought we had but we haven’t and it is causing us a lot of trouble, so I have to make sure the club gets that right.
Dale’s last two games have seen nine goals conceded, none scored in two heavy defeats. But Hill insists the current problems are ‘fixable.’
“We’ve lost six points [over the Christmas period] but we’ve got to now start maximising our opportunities over the next 20 games. It’s broke at this moment in time, but, trust me, it’s fixable.
“If you keep looking too deep and you keep looking for a number of solutions, you’ll never find it. You’ve got to try and come up with right permutation within the squad of players that we’ve got. We did last season from a worst position than we’re in now. We had 22 points and were rock bottom at this time in the season having just lost our fourth game on the bounce.
“I’m very mindful of the situation that we’re in. It’s going to difficult, which it always is, but we won’t run away from that fight. We’re prepared to do the hard miles.
“I’m optimistic and I’m also a bit deflated with the two results, but when you underline them, regardless of the goals – yes, there are things that have to be put right, but it’s six points that we’ve lost and we’re eight points up on last season, so we’re a little bit in advance of ourselves on the board in terms of the league. I understand it doesn’t look great and there is a little bit of inconsistency, but you have to find solutions and that’s what we intend to do.
“The game of football is not played on a computer, it’s played out there on the pitch and you have to take responsibility for your actions out there on the pitch and run to problems. You have to try to diffuse them at source, but I don’t feel we did that. I saw players making some silly mistakes, but I understand it as well. I have been that player out on the pitch, you get exposed and you run away from it rather than to it and make yourself look worse.”