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Weighing the Odds!
Weighing the Odds!

The Loans Gamble

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 25/11/2006

IN the deadline day for signing loan players, Town manager Alan Buckley took it to the wire in searching for the right players to strengthen his squad and finally secured three players, two of which, were his earlier targets.

Anthony Pulis a midfielder from Stoke City, Martin Patterson a striker also from Stoke City and his third signing Peter Till a midfielder from Birmingham City who is no stranger to Town fans having played on loan for Scunthorpe.

Buckley has moved to strengthen the squad in the areas he feels he needs supporting, but in doing so, he has taken the gamble all managers take with loan players.

There is no point in bringing loan players in to add to the wages bill if they just sit on the bench. He has to play them.

But if they do not fit in or are no better than what he has already got, he has put his money on the wrong horse, so to speak.

But that is the price you pay in using loan players.

There is an upside however and that is that our regular players will need to improve their game if they want to be in the first team squad and competition for places is a great motivating factor.

But what is more interesting about using loan players is that it will give some indication of who Buckley thinks needs replacing.

In the strikers area, he does not have any choice with players off injured so we are not likely to gain any insight there.

But we may in the midfield and it is there that Buckley seems to have set his sights for improvement and it is there that we get a clue as to who he doesn't rate. Buckley keeps his views to himself but he cannot help throwing a few hints by his loan signings.

As these loans are all short term it seems that they have been brought in to assist us to get out of the relegation zone and allowing him some further time to develop the squad to get them to fit in with his style of play.

There is also the expectation with Buckley that if the loanees are players with the abilities he needs, he will move to keep them if he can.

The next few games are going to be very interesting.

Don't miss them!

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