Joey Barton joked about how he may come by more January signings but the Fleetwood Town boss insists he needs them.
Though chairman Andy Pilley was still out of the country, Barton stressed again after Saturday’s 2-2 home draw with Shrewsbury that his squad is smaller than at the turn of the year.
He said: “The chairman is in South Africa and I’m not sure I’ve got any international minutes on my phone contract!
“But we need a couple of reinforcements as we’ve said to replace Ash Hunter, Peter Clarke, Jordan Rossiter and Jimmy Dunne. We are probably a few bodies down on where we started this window.
“But for us it’s about bringing quality in and not quantity because we’ve got some young kids who could do with the opportunity.
“We are in a great spot, ahead of where we were last season and the club is making progress.
“We’d have loved to have beaten Shrewsbury and had another two points but we could have lost that game.”
Barton says any further signings this month are likely to be loans although permanent deals are ideal, such as the one which secured Lewie Coyle this month after three loan spells from Leeds United.
Barton added: “When you loan players they are always owned by the club, so if they get a couple of injuries there’s always the likelihood of them being taken back. That’s why we are delighted to get Lewie here permanently because he’s got a home now.
“He knows he can develop here and now he’s a goalscoring centre-half we are delighted to have him (a reference to Coyle’s first goal for the club on Saturday).
“He was poor against Burton (the previous weekend) and I don’t know whether that was with the new contract but I thought he was back to his best against Shrewsbury. Hew was outstanding.
“We are going to be in the loan market, so you are relying on multiple factors. You’re relying on other teams getting a player in, so it’s one in one out, but hopefully by the deadline we’ll have at least two or three bodies in because I think we’ll need that to get back to the level we were at.
“You’ve seen Blackpool take Gary Madine and you think he’s a proper player, who’s definitely going to improve them.
“And if we get an opportunity to take a talented player we are going to have to do it.
“But if we don’t we go with what we’ve got and we’ve got a great set of lads. And I know one thing with this group – they never give up and there’s nothing wrong with that.”