MICHAEL Appleton has asked owners Venky’s to deliver him four more signings next week – after yesterday securing deals for DJ Campbell and Lee Williamson.
Striker Campbell signed a three-month loan deal from QPR, with the view of making the move permanent in the summer, while free agent midfielder Williamson joined until the summer of 2014.
Campbell goes straight into this afternoon’s squad for the visit of Ipswich, but Williamson misses out through illness, and boss Appleton insists his transfer business is still far from done.
His move for West Brom winger Jerome Thomas looks dead in the water, after Baggies boss Steve Clarke said no players would be leaving, but the Rovers chief has given his bosses the names offour players he wants. He has admitted former Rovers midfielder David Bentley is a player he would be interested in, although it is unknown whether he is one of the names given to Venky’s.
With Gael Givet still potentially leaving the club on loan, Appleton could be targeting two more defenders as well as strengthening in the wide area, and admits there could then be more loan departures.
He said: “I have given the owners four names I am desperate to bring to the football club on top of DJ and Lee and I will wait for either the green light or the red light.
“I walked in here and the balance of the squad was all over the place, in my opinion. We had a lot of number 10s, too many number 10s.
“I am trying to address the balance of the squad as quickly as I possibly can. Obviously quite a few players left on loan on deadline day and all we are doing with the numbers is re-addressing that.
“If we do get to re-address that by bringing players in then there will probably be some who won’t get any football between now and the end of the season and they might have to go out and get loan moves.
“We certainly need a defender, depending what happens with Gael and whether he is happy with the limited amount of football he has had this year, we might need two to make sure we can address the situation if we have injuries.
“Hopefully we will be very, very competitive very soon. David Dunn is a week away, Leon Best is back in training, Dickson (Etuhu) has trained, and Adam Henley is a week away.”
Campbell’s addition strengthens the competition for places in Rovers attack, with Jordan Rhodes, Colin-Kazim Richards and Best.
“It is important you get your front players right DJ brings something different. He is obviously a goal scorer like Jordan but sometimes you need an extra one, as in playing up top with three, or coming off the bench to ignite you in a game and that is what we have now.
“You take Jordan out of it and maybe there have been questions about who is going to step up to the plate and score you goals, that is why it is important we got DJ in, he is a proven goalscorer.
“We have to make sure we get the balance right and that I make sure I pick the right team for the right games, bearing in mind there are that many games coming up. It will enable me to freshen things up.
“It is definitely with a view to permanent signing. We haven’t just brought him in to be loan we have brought him in to be here for the next two or three years.”