LEE CLARK is still scouring the transfer market – but has emphasised he is working to move on existing players before bringing others in.
As Town’s seventh and most recent close-season capture, on-loan Plymouth midfielder Damien Johnson, prepares to face non-league Eastwood in Nottinghamshire tonight (7.30), manager Clark is hoping scouts will be present at Coronation Park to cast an eye over his fringe players.
While striker Jimmy Spencer and midfielder Chris Atkinson have gone out on loan to Cheltenham and Darlington respectively in a bid to gain first-team experience, Clark is still looking to trim the 30-strong pool which remains.
“We’re always looking at players who are out there and may be available,” said the boss, whose final friendly is at League II Rotherham on Saturday.
“But I do want to cut the squad back before bringing in any further signings, and there are two aspects to it.
“One is financial, because like all clubs, we have to work within the new salary cap guidelines.
“The other is practicality, in that we can only name five substitutes rather than the previous seven and so, as a coaching staff, we can work with a more manageable number of players.”
Striker Robbie Simpson is said to be interesting Oldham Athletic while it’s being reported on the south coast that Town have had a bid rejected for Bournemouth midfielder Anton Robinson.
“He’s a player I am aware of, like hundreds of others, but he’s not our player so I wouldn’t be in the business of commenting about him,” said Clark.
On the subject of coaching staff, the boss confirmed he and his team are on the verge of signing contract extensions.
“There have been one or two things to check and clarify, but we’re all close now, and I’m confident we’ll be sorted out before the start of the season.
“We all want to stay and carry on the job we’ve started, and we’re all relaxed about our new contracts.
“The main thing is that we focus on getting the players ready for that all-important first league game at home to Bury on Saturday week, and that’s what we’re doing.”