Fleetwood need signings now, admits Pressley

Jamille Matt is back

Jamille Matt is back

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Fleetwood boss Steven Pressley needs new recruits urgently, with his side down to the bare bones for tomorrow’s trip to Rochdale.

Pressley is already without forwards David Ball and David Henen. And he may yet add a defensive duo to that absentee list for the trip to Spotland, with injury and illness taking their toll.

And with five games still to play in January and Tuesday football looming for the next three weeks, Pressley knows Town must step up their January recruitment.

The Town boss said: “We’ve a couple of concerns. Nathan Pond is nursing a slight groin problem but we’re hoping he’ll be available for Saturday.

“Amari’i Bell missed training on Thursday with illness.

“Jimmy Ryan still has a grumbling of his hamstring, which we’re continuing to monitor. But we are thin on the ground right now, there’s no getting away from that.

“We trained extremely hard on Tuesday but on Thursday we had to take our foot of the accelerator a bit. We’re going into a busy period and we are thin.”

So far this month, Town have only managed to complete deals with players already at the club, extending Henen’s loan deal from Everton until the end of the season and signing Joe Davis on a permanent deal, understood to be two and a half years.

But Pressley wants more and quickly. “We’re trying to bring bodies in,” he said. “I think it’s a necessity we do so very soon.

“It so many games in such a short period of time and we’re asking so much of the group.

“The group right now is giving me everything they possibly can. The data after Barnsley was through the roof – in terms of what they are giving me and the club right now it’s fantastic.

“But we do need help and we do need bodies in the building to take some of the stress from certain players.”

There is light at the end of the tunnel – Henen, injured on Boxing Day at Shrewsbury, is due back from Everton next week after treatment.

Jamille Matt is also back at the club following a loan spell at Stevenage and is expected to travel to Rochdale.

But new recruits are what the manager wants to see. “We don’t have anybody I can say will definitely be here,” he admitted. David Henen will return on Monday and that will be a big plus for us.

On the transfer side, we’re not too close. We are pursuing a couple and in football things can change very quickly.

“I could say now we’re not close but by tomorrow somebody could be in. But we do need some bodies.”

“We also have Jamille Matt, who has returned. That’s a plus. We were short at the weekend in terms of strikers on the bench.

“You can see Jamille looks like a player who has had games in his legs and that’s pleasing. But there’s no doubt that with so many games in such a short time the squad will be stretched to the max.”

Oxford United won 2-0 at Millwall last night in the first leg of the Johnstone Paint Trophy Southern Area Final. The winners will play Fleetwood or Barnsley, who drew the opening leg of the Northern Final 1-1 in Yorkshire last Saturday.