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Decision Day Looming


11:50 22nd January 2013

Saunders ponders market moves

Boss Dean Saunders will complete his assessment of his squad this week before coming to decisions about any action required before next week’s closure of the transfer window.


Having taken over in early January, the new boss has been faced with some difficult decisions about potential ins and outs as it comes at a time when he needs to quickly assess the squad and identify potential targets.


He remains in daily dialogue with CEO Jez Moxey, but plans to make more decisions by the end of the week on both enquiries received for players and potential new faces.


“I spoke to Jez again yesterday morning and we’ve had a chat about the playing staff,” said Saunders.


“We’re receiving phone calls for different players and people are trying to do deals and I’ve got my eye on a couple of players who might be able to help us.


“But that’s ongoing as we speak and it’s changing by the day actually.


“People are signing players and so someone else becomes available and it will carry on like that until two or three days before the window shuts.


“We’re not going to be doing anything until Friday either way, unless something comes up.


“The chairman wants me to get the wage bill down with the amount of players we’ve got.


“I’ve got one eye on that and one eye on making us a better team.


“That’s with ins and outs.

“It gives me a bit more time as well to work with the players and it gives people time to ring up about our players, and that’s happening as we speak.


“I have to try to balance the squad a bit – we’ve got five right wingers – Razak Boukari, Anthony Forde, Stephen Hunt, Adam Hammill and Slawomir Peszko, and Kevin Foley can play there but we’ve only got one left back.


“They can’t all play so there’s something we can do there and it’s a question of who comes in for who.


“It’s about making a decision as late as we can on which players we get the best offer for.


“We’re having another chat on Friday and we’ll probably make some decisions on which way to move forward.”


Several of the senior players are out of contract in the summer, one of those being Christophe Berra, with the boss asked about the defender’s future.


“I’ll just a make a decision on what I see, but he’s got to make a decision on us as well,” says the boss.


“So I’ll have that conversation with him sooner or later but I’ve been here 14 days.


“You’ve got to watch them train and play. It’s alright on paper – a player might have played all these games but what type of person are they now?


“Are they the motivated person that their stats tell you they are?


“It’s alright playing 400-odd games but what are they like now?


“And are they prepared to have a dig in for me and the club in this league?

“It’s not just about talent – there are all these things to weigh up, and the same applies to the people I want to bring in.


“Are they going to just pick their wages up because they look like a good player, or are they going to have a go?


“It’s hard to tell sometimes before you get them in.”


Back on the pitch Stephen Hunt and Dave Edwards have returned to full training.


“They’re both naturally fit lads so they’re in the reckoning for Saturday,” added Saunders.


Tongo Doumbia meanwhile will miss a couple of days training after picking up a slight back injury.





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