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Steven Hammell admits his January transfer business will have a “huge” impact on Motherwell’s season and he began detailed planning long before the mid-season break.

The hiatus in the cinch Premiership season to accommodate the World Cup might give the Motherwell manager more time to focus on recruitment, but it has been a key priority since the August window closed.

Hammell had less than three weeks in the role to sign players in the summer and made four additions.

Matt Penney has been a consistent performer amid long-term injuries for fellow left-backs Nathan McGinley and Jake Carroll, Stuart McKinstry is progressing well following his loan return and Louis Moult made his first start of the season following an injury-hit start to his second spell at Fir Park.

But a loan deal for Rolando Aarons was terminated after the Huddersfield winger suffered a hamstring injury before he could make an impact.

Hammell’s predecessor, Graham Alexander, had made three summer signings and Blair Spittal and Paul McGinn have both featured heavily, but the latter has a knee injury and Josh Morris has struggled for game time.

“The work we do in January is going to be massive for us, I think that’s clear, it’s obvious,” said Hammell, whose side sit four points off the top six and five points off the bottom in ninth place.

“It’s a constant process, that’s not something we set aside a certain spot for, it’s something we are constantly looking at.

“We were in until late on Thursday night looking at potential January and summer recruitment, what we can and can’t do, and that’s something we look at every single day.

“But it’s clear what we do in January is going to be huge for us this season.”