Writer: Mike Field
Date:Wednesday August 20 2008
Martin O'Neill has said he isn't finished in the transfer market yet, it's simply a matter of whether he can convince those he wants to join.
We all know the links and rumours well enough, so whether or not he is referring to Joe Cole, Kevin Doyle, Roque Santa Cruz, old links such as Lee Naylor or somebody we haven't even though of yet, only time will tell.
The rumours of Maloney's departure are gaining pace again aswell and there has to be concerns over Barry with Rafa in the papers happy shifting the blame.
So you would like to think we would have at least two more players coming in to tide us over until January.
Speaking to the Mail, he said:
"We have got just less than two weeks. I am hopeful we can sign some players. We are still actively trying to get some people in.
"I`ve the support of the chairman, who I think has shown his intentions and done exactly what he said he would in supporting the team.
"We might get another three players in and we might be stricken with the same situation as West Ham this time last year.
"We might not be able to cope but you`ve got a better chance if you`ve got the people in.
"I can get numbers in but I really want to try and get a bit of quality at the same time.
"I`m pretty pleased with what we`ve done, no-one has seen Cuellar play here other than his UEFA Cup run with Rangers, no-one really knows enough about what Sidwell could do. But it`s great, it`s competition for places which is exactly what I wanted."
O'Neill knows we are light in the forward department so this has to be one of the positions he is hoping to add a number to over the next fortnight.
"We have an up-and-coming young lad in Nathan Delfouneso who is doing really, really well. We have Marlon Harewood, Gabby Agbonlahor and John Carew.
"We will try and see if we can do something about it before the deadline. If it doesn`t happen it won`t be for a want of trying and hopefully we can add another couple of players if we can do."
O'Neill is also seeking cover for the fullback spots. With Bouma and O'Halloran out injured left back is the most important, at least at right back we have Gardner, Davies who have played on the right before. Not ideal I agree, but it looks better than it does on the left where we only have Barry.
"We need back-up. If you think that Freddie Bouma won`t be back for four to six months, if you get two injuries then you are back to square one.'
With the rumblings of Maloney still lingering on, O'Neill stresses he isn't interested in letting players go and he believes Maloney has had enough chances to shine, so if he is unhappy it's not because he won't get anymore opportunities.
"I would prefer to keep players here.
"It is not that I want to keep every unhappy player. That has been my view, unless it has been so clear that they are not going to get a look-in.
"Interestingly, during the course of my time here that has not been the case with Shaun.
"For us at the moment, there might be an exit or two. But I would rather it was us trying to add to the squad."
Exits have to be question marks over Maloney and Barry. I can't see anyone else likely to leave, but we definitely need another two players to be mildly comfortable and if either of those do go, then we are looking at four players until he can look and try fresh in January.
Date:Wednesday August 20 2008
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