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Jones seeks new recruits

By Mid Devon Gazette  |  Posted: November 27, 2012

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CLIVE Jones has opened talks with four potential new signings in a bid to boost Willand Rovers' survival prospects.

The Silver Street boss revealed he is hoping to persuade a centre half, two midfielders and a striker to sign for the relegation-threatened club.

Jones has put in seven days' notice of approach for all four players and will step up his pursuit of the quartet over the coming days.

Willand are currently second from bottom in the Western League Premier Division and their hopes of earning a morale-boosting win over Winterbourne United at the weekend were hit by the wet weather.

And Jones accepts that now is the time to strengthen the squad if he is to guide his strugglers away from the relegation trap door.

"I am not knocking the players we have got but we need something," said Jones. "I am in trouble as a manager because I am failing.

"We have no divine right to make players play for Willand and I realise that.

"We can't lure them with money. I usually lure them with my sweet-talking rubbish, but we are near the bottom of the league and it is harder to sign players. But I am not going to stop trying.

"Everyone knows we need to freshen things up and I am talking to four players. One is a centre half, one is a central midfielder, another is a more versatile midfielder and the other is an out-and-out striker."

Jones admits he is finding it increasingly difficult to sign new players because so many possible recruits are reluctant to travel long distances for matches.

"There are a lot of good players in the lower leagues that are not prepared to do the travelling," he added.

"They are prepared to tell you that they are good enough in the pub when they have had a beer. But when you ask them to come and play they don't want to leave their mates and they are happy to carry on playing in the lower leagues.

"It was summed it up last weekend when we travelled to the other side of Portsmouth for our FA Vase game and we only took two subs because two of my players said they couldn't make it.

"I don't mean to be rude but that isn't good enough. If you want to play at this level you make it – that is how I have always been. I can't make people do it, but that is what I expect.

"There is always the odd occasion when this happens, but it is definitely getting harder to attract players. This is for me to solve. I have had good local players for a long time and now I need some more."

Jones is also waiting to discover if one of his current players decides to move on after an unnamed club put in a seven-day approach to sign him.

"I don't know if he will stay or go," said Jones.

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