Steven Hammell has stepped up his recruitment plans after landing the Motherwell manager’s job on a permanent basis and being dealt a serious injury blow.
Hammell has been left without an experienced natural left-back after Jake Carroll received bleak news on the knee injury he suffered last week.
With Nathan McGinley still struggling with the fitness problem that has kept him out since March, Hammell will need to recruit a new player for his specialist position.
On Carroll’s injury, which came as a result of an awkward landing in training, Hammell said: “It’s a ruptured patellar tendon so it’s pretty serious.
“Jake’s a great boy, a good player. He was one we had earmarked for improvement. He wasn’t playing at his full capacity and we saw in the short space of time that there was a lot of improvement to come from Jake. I think he would admit that himself.
“He is going to be a big loss for us and I am absolutely gutted for the boy. He will be lucky to play this season.
“Nathan is still going to be out for a period of time.”
Hammell was in recruitment meetings before and after his first media conference as permanent manager and ahead of his final training session before a trip to Aberdeen on Saturday.
“We have made enquiries about players,” he said. “It’s tough.
“Recruitment is key, recruitment is so, so important, and bringing the right person in. I would rather sign a seven or eight out of 10 player that is going to fit in with what we are trying to do here and fit in with the culture and environment, than a nine or a 10 that’s going to give us problems.
“We need to be clever with it. It’s difficult with how late we are but when we do it, of course it’s never going to be perfect and there might be some kind of risk attached to it, but we need to be confident they are going to make an impact straight away.
“We have made enquiries about a couple and there’s a couple that are slow burning.
“It’s no secret we need a couple of attacking options as well as a couple of other positions. With Jake Carroll getting injured, obviously that’s something we will need to look at quickly.”
Hammell will have Callum Slattery available for the first time after the midfielder served a two-match ban, giving him another midfield option that could allow him to further put his stamp on the team.
When asked what he wanted his side to look like, he said: “A team that plays with intensity, a team that the fans will enjoy watching play, hopefully.
“I understand it’s never always going to be perfect here, it’s Motherwell, there’s ups and downs every season. Hopefully there’s more ups and downs.”
Midfielder Sean Goss is one player who looks set to benefit from Hammell’s approach of giving players more licence to express themselves and get on the ball.
Goss said: “All managers are different in the way they go about training. There’s been a lot of short, sharp stuff, lots of touches on the ball, possession-based, just to get the boys going again, and hopefully get a bit more confidence in the side.
“It’s obviously going to take time, you can’t just change the way a team plays overnight, but all the lads are looking forward to it.”