MICHAEL Appleton insists his deadline day frustration is overshadowed by his excitement after claiming Blackburn Rovers’ transfer activity is a big statement of intent.

Rovers ran out of time in their attempts to sign QPR striker DJ Campbell and West Brom winger Jerome Thomas ahead of the close of the window – but Appleton is confident the duo will arrive when the loan market opens on Thursday.

The Rovers boss is also hopeful of adding former Portsmouth and Sheffield United midfielder Lee Williamson on a permanent deal, who is available due to being a free agent, while he is also targeting the addition of a defender on loan as well.

Ahead of this afternoon’s visit of Bristol City, Appleton said: “I think the frustration should not overshadow the type of player we have attracted and the type of player who wants to come to the football club.

“Hopefully and more importantly we will make sure on Thursday we are in a position to do something quickly. I think it is a real statement of intent from Blackburn Rovers as a football club.

“The two players made it very, very clear, they wanted to play for myself and the football club and that hasn’t changed despite the frustrations of last night.

“I have obviously worked with Jerome at West Brom and he is someone I have tried to get on loan previously at other clubs. If we manage to do something they will be two fantastic signings for the football club.

“We will definitely be looking at a defender when the window reopens. Apart from the two lads we want, we probably need one more defender to cover us and we are in a decent position to do that.

“I think with Lee (Williamson) being a free agent it didn’t have to be rushed. But I would like to think somewhere along the line we could do something. He is someone I have worked with before and he can play various positions in midfield. I would like to think we can revisit that after the weekend.”

The Rovers manager admitted Thursday night was “as frustrating as it gets” after the paperwork to clear the signing of Campbell and Thomas was unable to be done in time.

The duo were at Brockhall for most of the day, with Appleton confident the deals would get done, but by the time the window closed at 11pm Rovers were informed their efforts had not been successful.

Appleton said: “It was a situation where we have to look after the best interests of the football club and the representatives have to look after the best interests of the player.

“I don’t think there were any major doubts, but we just literally ran out of time. It is frustrating, probably as frustrating for the players as it is for me and probably as frustrating for all the fans.

“But from a positive point of view, the players are still very, very keen for something to happen so the window opens next Thursday and hopefully we can make sure we get it done.

“It was a mixture of everything, not just a matter of personal terms, all sorts of things go into a contract and it has to be right. It was a mixture of various things and the clock beat us to it.

“I was under the impression we were reasonably okay but for whatever reason it didn’t get done. No point in going on about it. I will pick it up again after today’s game.”