Fleetwood CEO Steve Curwood has offered an insight into life behind the scenes during the transfer window.
It was a busy January for Town, with staff working around the clock on deals, especially those for Wes Burns from Bristol City and Marcus Schwabl from VfR Aalen in a hectic week that coincided with forward Aaron Amadi-Holloway leaving.
Town also secured loans deals for Preston’s Ben Davies and Cameron Brannagan from Liverpool, while converting George Glendon’s loan to a permanent switch.
In his latest statement, Curwood wrote: “The football club is in a very good place, certainly position-wise in League One, and has enjoyed a good January window, but it is the long-term strategy that will truly define the success of the short and medium-term measures implemented.
“Winning and losing games is temporary, it is the exciting and visible part of any club, but alongside this the club continues to be run with our head and heart!” Curwood expanded on how a European-style technical director (Gretar Steinsson) helps deliver that long-term strategy.
He added: “The window took on greater importance than usual, with the removal of the emergency loan system requiring precision planning for the rest of the season.
“The game is becoming very ‘flat’, with all games accessible on scouting platforms at the click of a mouse, performance-monitoring systems detailing every move a player makes, and all clubs having in-depth knowledge of each other’s systems.
“It’s essential to eke out advances in all areas to keep our competitive edge, balancing longer term strategy with the need to deliver in a high-performance environment.
“Not only is it long-term identification of targets who fit the club’s playing style and philosophy, but also reacting quickly and foreseeing player moves three steps ahead, as well as growing key networks and trust across the whole game – having a technical director really comes into its own during such periods.
“His work alongside head of recruitment (Steve Davis), with input from head coach (Uwe Rosler) and chairman (Andy Pilley), ensures clarity and a clean process in dealing with agents, players and clubs.
“Mistakes here can cost clubs promotion or relegation and huge sums on players that don’t work out with lengthy contracts to honour.
“To expect a head coach to focus on delivering in this area is impossible in the modern game, where vast swathes of time are taken up analysing performances and opposition, preparing for matches and training, as well as monitoring players’ physical development needs.”