Joey Barton is yet to sign his first player as Fleetwood Town boss but the new head coach explained why he is in no rush
The Gazette understands the club is lining up a swoop for a long-term transfer target, a proven League One goalscorer and a defender.
Barton says he has an idea of what he may need to strengthen Town for the League One campaign but he wants to make up his mind on the current crop, who return to training next Monday.
The ex-Burnley midfielder is keen to give everyone from the development squad and academy a chance to push for a place in his first-team plans.
Barton watched several first-team matches late last season as John Sheridan’s Town climbed out of relegation danger into 14th spot.
And more new signings are expected to join Eddie Clarke, the 19-year-old left-back newly arrived from Tranmere.
Barton said of his transfer plans: “At this time most players are usually on holiday, regenerating energy from the season. At some point we will sit down and decide if we can add to the talent pool we already have.
“I need to see what we have got in the building. It is all very well watching games and watching another manager set up a team, but you have to be mindful not to formulate an opinion because there could be many facets to why people are performing or are not.
“You have to give the lads every opportunity to come back and give a good account of themselves.
“They will be aware there is a new manager in but the days are gone when players come back from holiday about three stone heavier.
“Now the lads are all professionals. They all have off- season programmes and all know that they are coming back to compete.
“We have young players like Harrison Biggins, who played games last year. If he comes back, shows a real appetite and desire to be a first-team player regularly for Fleetwood Town and if he is good enough, he will play. Similarly, we may have someone in the academy or development side I am not aware of right now.
“If they come back and start to showcase what they are about, they will play. It is not about what has gone before. There will be a change of the ethos of this club.
“To do that we might need to add one or two. But until we start the training sessions and drills, and interacting with them as human beings, we do not know what we need.
“I have spoken with Andy (Pilley, chairman) about what we might need, but there might be people we think we need but find out in pre-season that we don’t.”
“There also might be things we think we have in the building but find out in pre-season that we don’t. That is the toing and froing of football.
“I’m really looking forward to it. Everything is new to me and every day is a school day.”