Jon McCarthy doesn’t envisage he will be adding any further players to his Chester FC squad unless hit with an injury crisis.
The Blues boss made it clear from the outset earlier in the summer that his transfer business would be one of quality over quantity, and that is how it has panned out with the eight new additions to the club warmly welcomed by many Chester fans.
But the pursuit of better players means that he has a small squad of players to work with this season.
He has competition up front, in midfield and, thanks to the addition of Burnley keeper Conor Mitchell on loan, in goal. But defensively the Blues are light with the back four of John McCombe, Ryan Astles, Andy Halls and Lathaniel Rowe-Turner having little competition for their roles.
Young defender James Jones is waiting in the wings and McCarthy does have versatile players who can operate in various roles across the back four as a short-term solution.
The Blues boss hasn’t ruled out dipping into the loan market should he be faced with a long-term setback for one of his defenders, an issue he hopes won’t present itself.
“I think we are done now,” said McCarthy.
“The board have backed us but there comes a point financially where it has to be a no in order to protect this football club. It is a credit, the relationship between the two boards. I know where we are at and there is no more available.
“If I am going to get somebody for nothing it will be from the Premier League. The Premier League window closes soon so it would be more a Championship club or a League club, and if we are going to do that then they are not really going to send somebody of the quality that we would want.
“We have been out to watch games. We’ve seen Stoke, we’ve seen West Brom, we’ve seen Derby, we’ve seen Burnley and we’ve seen Crewe.
“If something happens, if it is a short-term thing, if it is a game or a suspension then I think we can cope within our group, but if it is something longer then we would go out to club and say ‘there is a month here and he will play’. That’s our situation and that’s how it works. I think it is a well-planned and sensible solution and I hope we don’t have to use it.”
McCarthy’s side are back in action on Saturday when they play host to FC Halifax Town at the Swansway Chester Stadium.
One player who is facing a race to be fit is striker Nyal Bell who took a nasty bang to the face just minutes after coming on as a substitute against AFC Fylde on Tuesday night.
The young striker battled on bravely but a visit to A&E lay in store for him in the hours that followed, with Bell almost losing a front tooth.
“He is still very much in our thoughts, he’s not done anything to his legs,” said McCarthy.
“It was really nasty to the point that he was straight off to A&E and it is whether he is going to be able to keep his front teeth, whether it is a root fracture or whether it is the tooth.
“They did the X-rays and they have been able to save his tooth, but there is some element that if there is another knock then it is a risk. But the lad is keen and we would look at all options. There is mouthguards and stuff like that and there is a little bit more guidance we need from our doctors to see what we can do.
“It was a shame. He took it really early and it knocked him. He was brave for staying on and he must have been in all kinds of pain. He’s a brave lad and he is totally committed to us even though he is on loan from Gateshead.
“If there is any chance then we would look to involve him.”