WHILE Sky Bet League 2 leaders Argyle are walking the walk on the field, manager Derek Adams is talking the talk off it.
The Pilgrims’ gaffer is determined to reinforce and refresh his title-chasing squad in the January transfer window, and has been exploring the possibility of, not only extending the stays of three loan players – Hiram Boateng, of Crystal Palace; Reading’s Craig Tanner; and Oscar Threlkeld, of Bolton Wanderers – but also bringing in some new talent.
“That’s always the scenario – trying to improve on what you’ve done already,” said Derek, on the eve of the Pilgrims’ trip to Blackburn to play Carlisle United on the second day of the new year.
“We are still talking to clubs and players, just looking to see how we can add to the players that we have here already. Nothing will be done by January 2, because we can’t take in any signings until after that, unless it was a loan, but it looks like it will be the middle of January before anything is likely to be done.
“We are talking to the clubs where we have got the three long-term loanees and we are very hopeful we can get some of them over the line. We are speaking to Crystal Palace; we are speaking to Reading; and we are speaking to Bolton.”
It is not only the skills of potential new signings that interests the Argyle manager. Character is high up the list of attributes if you want to be one of Derek’s Pilgrims.
“The personality of a player coming in is important,” he said, “and important within that is their attitude to try to get into the team, first of all – to dislodge whoever is in the team; put pressure on the players that are around about; and try to move the club forward.
“Sometimes it takes players a certain amount of time to get into the team. You only have to look at Craig Tanner, Oscar Threlkeld and Ryan Brunt. It takes a wee bit of time to get yourself into the team, and when you do get into the team, your aim is to stay there.”
That seems to have been achieved most recently by Oscar, who turned 21 earlier this month.
“He’s only a young kid and he’s come down from Bolton and performed well for us,” said Derek. “It’s important, when you take in loan players, that they do contribute. The loanees have done that.”