Dundalk manager Vinny Perth hasn’t ruled out one final dip into the transfer market before Saturday’s transfer deadline.
However, the 43-year-old says he will only make a move for the player if they can go straight into the first-team, insisting he is happy with his squad for the year ahead.
It is understood that the Lilywhites would like to add another attacking option to their ranks and are scouring European markets for a suitable candidate.
Asked after Friday’s opening day victory over Derry City if his business was completed, Perth said: “I actually don’t know.
“With a week to go, players will come up and be made available. If they’ll make us better we’ll definitely do something but I don’t want a squad player. I want someone that is going into our first team now. I’m happy with the squad.
“If somebody comes available we’ll do something but I’ve probably watched a couple of hundred players at this stage. We’ve really targeted five or six and you don’t get them so you end up with one or two so it’s now time to focus on what we have.”
Perth says he hopes to have both Georgie Kelly (back) and Patrick McEleney (Achilles) back in contention for Friday night’s trip to face First Division champions Shelbourne at Tolka Park (kick-off 7.45pm) but was happy with how his side started the season in their absence against Derry on Friday.
“I thought there was a lot of positives about the game,” he said.
“They were really strong and I think they’re going to be a top side and we had said that to the players beforehand. People probably thought their signings were underwhelming but we knew (Tim) Nilsen was a good player because we’ve watched him. They’re a good side so I’m really happy with what we did.
“I said that to the players that we’ve got to make a good start. We haven’t started well enough for various reasons. Some of that lies at my door. I think over the years we’ve pushed players so hard and this year we’ve probably pushed them harder than ever but the result of that was how fit did we look with half an hour to go?
“We were missing five players tonight and we weren’t lacking quality so I’m really happy with how we pushed our players. I’m happy with pre-season and I wouldn’t change it. Yeah, I wish Georgie Kelly and Patrick McEleney hadn’t picked up niggles yesterday but that’s part of the game unfortunately. I’m happy that we’ve improved.”
Pressed on those injuries, Perth said they were nothing serious.
“Georgie just had a tightness in his back and Patrick’s Achilles was sore so I’d imagine they’ll train on Monday or Tuesday. It’s nothing serious but at this time of the year if a player gets injured it’s a long way back.
“That’s the difference though I suppose. We’ve lost Jamie McGrath out of our front four positions but we’ve added Will Patching, Cammy Smith and obviously Stefan (Colovic) so I think we’re in a stronger position. We’d have been in turmoil last year if we had been missing five players out of our front four.”
Perth said he was unsure as to when the deal for Serbian Colovic would go through.
“No, we’re waiting on the Department,” he said when asked if there was an update.
“It could be two days or four days, it could be two weeks or three weeks. You’re at the mercy of them. We’ve done everything we can. We’ve kept him out of the country because that’s sort of what you have to do but we’ll have to wait and see.”
Perth said he was now happy with the depth of his squad in attacking areas.
“I felt last season that the injuries in midfield changed a little bit how we played and we had to ride our luck a little bit. Michael (Duffy) missed the Riga game and it was Patrick (McEleney) who had to fill in on the left. Now if Michael misses a game, we’ve got real options.
“We can play with a 10 or we don’t need to play with a 10. From what I hear there’s a bit of criticism of the three at the back but the idea behind it is to make our players understand the game more. That’s to do with their areas of improvement but whether we go to a three at any stage I don’t know.
“We’ve got different options now though. Cammy (Smith) can play left or right and Stefan can play in any of the front three positions behind the striker. We’ve improved the squad, now it’s up to us to get results on the back of it.”
Perth also said he was pleased with the performance of his two debutants Greg Sloggett and Cammy Smith.
“I thought Sloggett was excellent. He missed not playing the game last week. He needed that for his minutes to be ready for action so missing it was a blow for him personally.
“Cammy Smith is also lacking game time. He hasn’t played a lot for Dundee United so both of them needed game time but I thought they gave us something a little bit different. It’s a bit like Nilsen for them, people are guessing what is this Cammy Smith like?
“I think we’ve added a bit of quality and probably the one who was unfortunate tonight was Jordan Flores because he was excellent in pre-season but because they were sitting in a lot we felt we needed a number 10. Cammy has goals in him. You seen with the strike he made and Peter Cherrie made a great save that he has a real eye for goal. He has probably gone under the radar a little bit but he is someone who we have high hopes for.”
Despite all the talk of new recruits, it wasn’t lost on Perth that it was one of his experienced heads, Dane Massey, who popped up with the winner.
“I suppose the last half an hour typified that little bit of experience and that little bit of know how. We were calm. There was no forcing balls or overhit stuff. That’s what some teams do but I thought as much as our new players came in and gave us real energy and something different, ultimately it was that little bit of quality from Jordan and Dane, showing that little bit of professionalism for want of a better word to tuck his goal away.
“Then you look at the two centre halves. They defended really well and I thought the back four and Gary were excellent tonight and sometimes that is where it’s built from.”
With Shelbourne up next, Perth is expecting a tough game from Ian Morris’ side, who won 1-0 away to Cork City on Friday, but says the league as a whole is stronger this season in his opinion.
“I think the league has improved this year,” he said.
“I don’t think people have paid enough attention to that. You look at the strength in depth of that Finn Harps squad now. I think Derry are better than they were last year. I think it’s going to be a competitive league.
“I look forward to going to Tolka Park. For me, it’s one of the real homes of Irish soccer. It’s a brilliant place to play football and we’ll look forward to it,” he said.