The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Luke Baker

DARRELL Clarke would love to be shop­ping in Waitrose this January but ad­mits Pound­land may be more re­al­is­tic in his quest for new play­ers.

Bris­tol Rovers had lost nine of their last ten matches be­fore yes­ter­day’s game against Rother­ham, leav­ing Clarke count­ing down the days un­til the trans­fer win­dow re­opens and he can call on the cav­alry.

And the Pi­rates boss has lots of names he is ready to present to the board ahead of a re­cruit­ment drive.

“I’ve got three lists,” re­vealed Clarke. “I have a Waitrose list, an Aldi list and a Pound­land list.

“I put play­ers to the board, like in the sum­mer, and we’ll see what we can bring in. We would be say­ing the same even if we were on a good run. We would still be fresh­en­ing things up.

“The board say to come to them with what I want, but it’s not as easy as that.

“I’d much rather have a fig­ure I can use to spend. But we’ve got to go to them – that’s not a prob­lem. I’ll pass it on to the chair­man – three lists.”

Ar­guably just as im­por­tant as bring­ing in re­in­force­ments for Rovers is re­tain­ing top scorer Billy Bodin, whose contract ex­pires at the end of the sea­son.

The 25-year-old Welsh striker had notched nine goals ahead of the week­end, de­spite miss­ing six weeks of ac­tion with a ham­string injury.

Clarke has urged the di­rec­tors to loosen the purse strings.

“We have to raise our salaries if we are go­ing to keep our bet­ter play­ers,” he said. “We spend within our means and I can’t imag­ine that chang­ing.

“But we’re still in the bot­tom six for the salaries we pay play­ers.

“Un­til we can start over­achiev­ing again, like we’ve done the last cou­ple of years, the place will be a lit­tle dis­grun­tled.”

DEALS: Darrell Clarke

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