Rotherham United will waste no time in bringing in new players when the January transfer window opens.
Business can begin tomorrow, when the Millers travel to Preston North End in the Championship, and at least two fresh faces are expected to be in place early next week.
“There are a couple of things which might happen quickly,” boss Neil Redfearn said. “As January goes on, there are other targets we’ve got in mind.”
The Millers manager doesn’t have a definite figure, but there could be as many as five new arrivals by the time the window shuts at 11pm on February 1.
“The ideal scenario is to bolster your squad with players better than the ones you already have.” he said. “I don’t want to put a number on it. We know the areas we want to strength. We’re well on the way with a couple of targets. We’ve got two or three others we have in mind as well.”
Redfearn, who has a selection dilemma at right-back for the Deepdale clash with Stephen Kelly, Frazer Richardson and Lewis Buxton all set to miss out, confirmed some of the present squad will leave to make room for the new arrivals.
“We don’t have to get players out but, obviously, once you bring players in and your squad grows then some players are not going to get a clear sight of the first team and that’s not healthy,” he said.
“Naturally, there will be some players who perhaps do depart. There will be interest in some of our players from other clubs, no doubt. There will be people who go out, but we’ve got to wait and see who comes in before we decide on that.”
When asked if Manchester City duo defender Shay Facey and Luke Brattan were on his radar, Redfearn said: “We’ve got good links with Manchester City and Manchester United. It was something we pursued over the international break. We had a couple of games, one against City and one against United. Both clubs have got talented young players in their ranks.”
Three players he is happy to discuss are loan trio centre-half Farrend Rawson, right midfielder Grant Ward and attacking midfield manT ony Andreu, and he is keen to keep them all at AESSEAL New York Stadium beyond the January expiry of their deals.
“It’s something we are on with. All three have done well,” the Rotherham boss said. “Rawson has been a mainstay for the majority of the season. Grant has really blossomed into his position. He’s an outstanding young talent. He’s a big feature in our upturn in form and results. Tony has come back into the fold and done well. He’s looked bright.”
The trio are likely starters at Preston, but Kelly may not be ready after a calf problem, while Richardson has been ruled out with concussion and Buxton’s contractual issue which is keeping him out of contention has yet to be resolved
Richardson was knocked out at Fulham in midweek when he collided with teammate Lee Camp.
“Because it’s concussion, there’s a precautionary amount of time we have to wait so that rules him out for Saturday,” Redfearn said. “The lad is feeling a lot better, but we have to take the medical advice on board.
Striker Leon Best is another absentee as he prepares for surgery on his troublesome groin.
“He’s seen the specialist,” Redfearn revealed. “The op is going to be done next week and they’re talking three weeks or so. We’re looking at the end of January for his return. That’s not too bad a turnaround.”
Rotherham head to North End out of the drop zone after four wins in their last eight matches and the Millers chief is anticipating a tough test,
“Preston are always organised,” he said. “I know their manager, Simon Grayson, first hand. I worked under him at Leeds in the academy. His sides have a good work ethic.
“But we’re in a good run of form so we’ve got to take a lot of heart and confidence from that. We’ve got to go to Preston and take the game to them. That first goal and getting your noses in front is important.
“I think it will be a closely-fought contest and I don’t think there’ll be much in it.”