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Bargain Hunters!

By: Richard Lord
Date: 21/07/2002

MANAGER Paul Groves has revealed his fears to the Sports Telegraph that he is running out of time in his quest to bring new faces to Blundell Park. The 36-year old player/manager said: "The clock is ticking down, and it's ticking down fast."

A squad of just 18 players took to the pre-season tour of Scandinavia and only 13 of them were full-time professionals. Keeper Danny Coyne and young starlet Simon Ford have yet to decide on their futures and could leave boss Groves in a nightmare situation.

"We are very aware of the problems," continued Groves. "There are things in the background that we're working on and trying to put in place, but until the finances change, it's not something we can't talk about.

"There's no getting away from the fact that the team squad needs strengthening. To do that it means bringing in more bodies. We have to make sure that they are of the right quality and not just bring in anybody to fill a slot.

"The numbers dictate that there has to be a centre half and a centre forward. We've lost Michael (Boulding) and Brad (Allen) so we're two down up there. We've lost David Smith and Ben Chapman so we're down on the left.

"People like Danny Butterfield and Wayne Burnett have gone and they were all bodies that were at our disposal last season and played a big part."

It is reported that a possible 600 players will be available on Bosman free transfers during the summer, but Groves continued to show his awareness of the workload ahead of him and the rest of the coaching staff.

"It's difficult to put a number on how many of that 600 can play in the First Division or are the type of player that we would like. Obviously you have a vision of how your team would want to play and I'm always looking for any given player that would slot into that.

"There are only so many players that can play in the First Division, and the cream always gets picked off first." He concluded.

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