No time to waste for Dean Saunders

ON THE LOOKOUT: Dean Saunders has pledged to act quickly in the transfer window.
ON THE LOOKOUT: Dean Saunders has pledged to act quickly in the transfer window.

DEAN Saunders is determined not to hang about once the transfer window opens as he seeks to keep Rovers in the promotion mix.

Saunders saw his playing budget boosted by the club’s major shareholders last week with the green light given for the recruitment of three new players.

And the Welshman insists there is no time to waste as Rovers must make their intentions clear early in the New Year, starting with a positive result in the derby with pre-Christmas leaders Sheffield United.

“We’ve not got games to waste in January because it is a month where we can make a mark,” Saunders said.

“The sooner I can get players in the better.

“We’re in a position this year where we’ve got to start thinking about getting promoted.

“The squad we’ve got right now is going to struggle to maintain what we’ve managed to do.

“This squad needs a bit of help so I’m really pleased the directors feel we can add to it to give is that help.

“We’re okay right now with injuries but with the size of this squad you’re never too far away from a disaster.

“So I’ll be acting as quickly as possible but I’m prepared to wait for the right players.

“I know where we’re weak and the areas that need strengthening.

“I just have to make sure I don’t disrupt what we’ve got and make things worse in trying to make them better.”

Saunders admitted he was worried the end of top earner James Coppinger’s loan spell at Nottingham Forest this week would put a major dent in his playing budget.

But the club’s major shareholders paved the way for Coppinger to return plus allow Saunders to offer permanent deals to Sammy Clingan, Andy Griffin and Iain Hume as well as recruit a trio of new names.

Saunders said: “Copps is a good player and it’s a big boost for us that he’s coming back.

“I really didn’t think I’d be able to afford it.

“I’ve spoken to him and he’s pleased to be coming back, he’s determined to give his all to get this club promoted.

“We know how good he is and what he’s capable of.

“He’s not played much at Forest so I’m just hoping he’s fit when he comes back.

“But he’s a trainer and a grafter so we’ll be okay.”

Rovers visit inconsistent Preston North End on Saturday before welcoming fellow high fliers Sheffield United on New Year’s Day.