Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Wednesday February 4 2009
Wigan Athletic boss Steve Bruce is gearing up his backroom staff ready for an assault on the transfer market once the summer window opens.
Bruce a big critic of the January window is eager to get his staff together and assess the strengths and weaknesses of his current crop of players and then set about the task of identifying targets for recruitment in the close season. Bruce told reporters:
"We're having a break on that front for the next few days, but next week I will have everyone in and assess the areas of the squad we need to strengthen'
'We've got six months to have a look for the players we want to bring in, there's no time to rest on our laurels."
Bruce acknowledged the efforts of the clubs General Manager and Chief Executive in securing the services of both Charles N`Zogbia and Hugo Rodallega in the last week, N`Zogbia was a deal that only came about with 3 days of the window left open and with Rodallega there was a lot of work to get his deal completed, work permits, international clearance etc, he continued:
'I've got to say John Benson (general manager) and Brenda Spencer (chief executive) worked themselves to a standstill in the transfer window.
'They worked late into the night over the weekend to make sure we got N'Zogbia. We aren't the biggest of clubs so we have to get off our backsides and get to work.'
'It was really only the last ten or 12 days of the window when things got busy'
'I thought Rodallega coming in was going to be it, but obviously it wasn't. I'm pleased with what we've done.
'There was disappointment after we lost Palacios and Emile Heskey because they'd been terrific for the club. But we managed to bring in Rodallega, Ben Watson, Mido and N'Zogbia, who are all exciting players.
With the changes in playing staff in the past twelve months Bruce now commands a very different squad from the one which he inherited and he believes it is a lot stronger and with the bit of money he has made in the January window Bruce is plotting his spending spree come the seasons end, he concluded:
'The squad is a lot different now, maybe it's a bit better and stronger than it was, but only time will tell.
'If you look at what we've done, we've brought in £18m or £19m and spent around £12m so what is left can go into the pot for the summer.
'The number of changes we have made in two or three transfer windows is quite incredible. There has been a real turn-around in the 15 months I've been here.'
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Date:Wednesday February 4 2009
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