BRINGING in fresh faces ahead of Friday’s transfer deadline is a more complicated business than ever for Fleetwood Town manager Micky Mellon, though he revealed that negotiations with “one or two” targets are at “an advanced stage”.
However, with the new financial Fair Play rules stating that clubs like Town can spend no more than 55 per cent of their income on players’ wages, Mellon must first offload players this week before he can recruit.
It makes transfer deadline dealing more difficult, and Mellon says that moving players on to other clubs can prove trickier than recruiting from outside.
The Town boss told The Gazette: “It is a juggling act because of the new rules and the fact is we need to get some bodies out in order to bring one or two in.
“We need to bring some money into the club first and we have three or four who could go out.
“But it’s proving harder than we would like because some players don’t seem to want to go to clubs where they would get first-team football.”
Mellon would not elaborate on which areas of the side he is looking to strengthen ahead of Friday’s 11pm deadline, but he did say: “We think we need a bit more hunger and experience in a couple of positions, but first have to free up places.
“We are at an advanced stage over a couple of things, both with players coming in and going out.”
This delicate situation is one reason Town have pulled out of a behind-closed-doors match against neighbours Blackpool this afternoon.
Neither club operates a reserve team and the game had been arranged to give squad players from Highbury and Bloomfield Road a workout. Mellon explained: “We want to develop our working relationship with Blackpool as much as possible, but we couldn’t get a squad together which would have made this match worthwhile for either club.
“We have been unfortunate with a few injuries among our developing players, but some of those who could have played in the match are ones we are looking to give opportunities at other clubs.”
The fitness situation within Mellon’s first-team squad is healthier, with Andy Mangan returning to training yesterday after missing Saturday’s first win of the season at Burton.
The manager said: “Andy got a knock when he collided with (keeper) Scott Davies in training, but he has recovered and is fine now. Gerard Kinsella has tweaked a knee but should be OK too.”
The only senior player still unavailable to Mellon is Anthony Barry, who continues his gradual recovery from a knee injury which forced him to sit out almost all of last season.
The manager said: “Anthony has been using specialist equipment at Everton. They have an underwater treadmill they are kindly allowing him to use, so he continues to make progress.”