Dunfermline Athletic manager James McPake is confident of securing his first signing of the January transfer window in time for this weekend’s crucial Championship encounter with Airdrieonians.
James admitted “the phone’s been busy” as he looks to strengthen a squad ravaged by injuries in recent weeks. While hopeful of adding more new faces over the coming days, the Pars boss believes one fresh addition will bolster his resources for Saturday.
“We’ll hopefully have one in for the weekend,” confirmed the manager, who suggested it was a loan deal close to completion. “I’d be really surprised if he’s not in the building by the weekend.”
With his side searching for their first league win in six matches, the manager recognises the urgency to refresh things, especially after Aaron Comrie and Alex Jakubiak were added to the already lengthy Pars injury list. James praised his board for understanding the heightened importance of January recruits. He met with Technical Director Thomas Meggle today to outline key areas needing strengthened.
“Thomas is over at the minute so we’ve had good conversations, and the aim’s still the same. We need to improve the squad. At the start of the season it was improving the squad and staying in the league, getting to the 40-point mark, seeing what we can do.
“Everything stays the same, then the injuries come, and sometimes you see then the true side of the football club – are we still at that point, or do we just settle? No, it’s still get to the 40 points, develop these younger players, which I believe we’re doing – Ewan Otoo’s a prime example of that. I think he’s getting better and better, and then the phone calls where they say, look, we understand the injuries. We understand what’s happening, we’re going to help you with getting some players in.
“The targets that we had identified, maybe for some in this window, some for the next window, how can we help you accelerate them? We’re doing that. They understand it and have told us that they do understand that we need help. We were always looking to strengthen, but you don’t need to be a genius to work out in what area we need to strengthen now. That was never really anything that we were looking to do until the summer. We were looking at other areas of the pitch, now we’re having to change that and the board have accepted that. We’re looking to get this one in and then we’ll look and see what more we can do.”
James appreciates fans may be frustrated by the lack of business so far.
“I know it’s looking that there’s still no signings in and things like that, but this one will hopefully be the first one. We’ve had good conversations with the board in Germany and with David Cook – David’s working all hours as well. They’re all doing that.”
The hope now is this weekend’s signing, claimed to be a player originally targeted for next season, can make an immediate impact.