Up to four new faces in January as Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough steps up hunt for players

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough said the Stags could bring in as many as four new faces in January, depending on who goes out on loan or permanent deals.
Nigel Clough - set to juggle his squad this month.Nigel Clough - set to juggle his squad this month.
Nigel Clough - set to juggle his squad this month.

A striker and a left back are on his list as well as a centre half if they are unable to persuade John-Joe O'Toole to sign a new contract.

“As you've seen over the last few weeks, the squad we've got is a good one and we don't need massive wholesale changes to it,” said Clough.

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“We just need to get the young lads out playing football, that may be loans.

“We are very happy generally with the foundation of the squad and there won't be six or seven coming in or anything like that.

“It might be three or four hopefully, but just to complement the squad more than anything else, certainly not to come in and make wholesale changes to it.

“It is just to give us that flexibility over the remaining 23 games.”

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Clough said there were some irons in the fire but the hunt would be stepped up this week.

“We have been mainly concentrating on preparing for the FA Cup game and it will depend on outs,” said Clough.

“We have made a few calls, but most players were cup-tied for the weekend. We will now step up our efforts this week in order to try to do some business.

“I think we need cover all over the pitch, but not just as cover, we want those players to challenge for a first team place.

“We want another striker to complement what we've got.

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“You need that when you are playing Saturday/Tuesday, Saturday/Tuesday. You need to be able to change them.

“We have a few names but it has to be someone who fits into the mould and fits into the strikers we've got to work with them.

“I think we need a defender. It will depend on who goes out with the young lads.

“We have a situation with Ryan Burke where we haven't seen enough of him to reach a decision. So if we can bring in some cover in at left back for Stephen McLaughlin then Ryan could maybe go out and play some games.”

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He added: “Keaton Ward also needs to go out and play some games.

“If we can keep JJ then we don't need another centre half coming in.

“We are still waiting on Will Forrester as well. We'd like to re-do that but Stoke are saying they want to see what business they do in the next 10 days as to whether they will let him back out or not.

“So everyone is spinning plates and waiting on each other.”

Defender Corey O'Keeffe could be the first one to leave after a successful loan at Rochdale.

“I think his loan is officially up now and he will either be going to Rochdale on a permanent deal or somewhere else,” said Clough.