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O'Neill On The Hunt For New Players

O'Neill On The Hunt For New Players

Martin O'Neill says the search is on but he might have to bring in more loan signings until the summer.

On the possibility of more loans, with Shaun Wright-Phillips being the latest linked to a loan until the end of the season, O'Neill said:

'I couldn't rule that out and it would be foolish of me to do so. I've got some great plans but those plans could evaporate by January 20 or 21! If we could bring in four or five of the Petrov quality - if that was possible then that's what we'd aim for. Whether we're capable of doing that or whether we could, that would be spending a lot. But we'll see where we are.'

'I've worked this out scientifically. There's two types of thinking: there's long term thinking at the club where we're looking for players to take the club further over three, four or five years. That's the first thing I'm looking to do. Secondly, let's assume we've been unable to get those players in, in January, then we still want to bolster the squad. You do all the preparation work and then try to see where people are. Sometimes people hold out or don't want to sell their best players, so this won't be easy.'

'But all we do know is that even on a short term basis, we need to strengthen the squad between now and the end of the season. If top quality players aren't available until the summer then so be it. The summer is not the first priority but knowing every other club in Europe is also trying to do the same thing, you're fighting a battle all the time. So as the month progresses, that will be an interesting scenario.'

He did add on the official site: 'There are other irons in the fire. We have a number of ongoing things at the moment. Whether or not they come to fruition remains to be seen. I think Aston Villa fans will want to see the people when they've arrived, not hear me talking about them. But we'll work around the clock because we know we can't do anything after the end of this month.'

'I'm not using this as an excuse, it's the way things happen, but we've been a wee bit thin on the ground and we've had quite a few injuries to contend with. At most stages in the season, we've had someone out. So the situation is this: Come February 1 you've no other opportunities to do anything about injuries until the end of the season. I knew that come September 1, way back at the start of the season, that I faced the same situation.'

In other words, watch this space, we might have smiles on our faces, we might end up frustrated and looking forward to the summer!

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Tuesday January 9 2007
Time: 4:02PM


watch this space, could you please specify which space, I dont want to miss anything. But in truth doe's anyone doubt the clubs ambition? Doubt MON's ability? Doubt the backing of the new owner? I doubt it.
09/01/2007 16:11:00
He is looking to bring long term quality to the club and is trying to get those players, if that fails he will bring in short term 'fixes' to imprve things until the quality players he wants are available.
09/01/2007 16:12:00
i hope they are not petrov quality as he has been very poor recently but im pleased we still in the hunt for players though
09/01/2007 16:47:00
Petrov has looked tired and injured recently (non premier players need time to bed in - the list is endless). We need more bodies in there. I am wondering what his "irons in the fire" are. It will need a few big transfers to happen now to allow others (Bent, SWP, Young). This didn't happen pre-season, that's why Milner didn't arrive. Some of his targets will not be freed up until the team's have found a replacement (e.g. Collins John and Bent)
09/01/2007 17:36:00
If Spurs sign Bent, we could sign Keane..... I can't understand why certain players wouldn't want to join us knowing they'd be the first names on the team sheet. Let's face it SWP, Keane, Bent, Nugent & Barton would walk into our side at the moment - we desperately need to be challenging for Europe.
09/01/2007 17:43:00
It's nice to see someone that is eager to push the club forward. Lets face it, you wouldn't get that from Deadly and O'dreary.
09/01/2007 19:21:00
Loan deals never seem to have worked for us but so Bardsley will be a good test, so too would SWP and Young. The question is whether, if successful, they would stay next season - I think not unless we finish in a top 6 position. MON certainly has a quandry.
09/01/2007 19:38:00
If MoN is not succesful at prizing a striker/goalscorer, how does Robbie Fowler sound? He wont cost much but he'd certainly add something upfront. Anyone ?
09/01/2007 20:01:00
Robbie Fowler was a fantastic striker in his day, however i dont think he would offer us too much at this stage in his career. We should either be looking for up and coming quality or proven strikers in the 25-28 age bracket, if not id hold fire till the summer.
09/01/2007 20:24:00
Robbie KEANE not Robbie FOWLER!!!! Wayne Bridge and Young on the left - what an overlap that would be - nightmare to defend against. SWP on the right with Keano up front. Send Baros to Chelsean on loan and I'm sure Mourinho would loan us SWP/Bridge. Buy both for 10 mil and give them Baros - in the summer. Let's have DISTIN away from MANC on the cheap - big and powerful, what we need. Also, sod Collins-John!!!!
09/01/2007 21:32:00
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