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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Bayliss plans new year recruitment drive

A NEW Year recruitment drive is on the cards at Barrow AFC, with manager Dave Bayliss hoping to boost the ranks by bringing in three or four players in January.

The Bluebirds – who were today aiming for victory at Alfreton in a bid to lift themselves off the foot of the Blue Square Bet Premier table – have been operating with one of the smallest squads in the division.

At present Bayliss has 17 players to pick from, with defender Neill Byrne having now returned to parent club Rochdale.

Three of those 17 will see their loan deals expire within the next fortnight – first Blackpool striker Louis Almond on January 1, and then Burnley duo Joe Jackson and Tom Anderson five days later. Bayliss said: “We have to start getting points on the board in the league and now, and I’m counting down the days until January when we can strengthen the squad.

“Centre-half is a position we do need to bring someone in, and I will bring someone in.

“We’re probably looking at three players in January, and I’ve spoken to the chairman (Brian Keen) and clubs already.

“We need a couple of defenders, another striker, which we will get, and possibly another wide player.

“I’m not happy with what we have got. I know that and the players know that but for the time being they have the shirts to keep and it’s up to them to stay in the side.”

Asked if Barrow could make a move for Colchester United centre-half Tom Aldred, who enjoyed a three-month loan spell at Holker Street earlier this season, Bayliss added: “Tom loved it here.

“We have spoken to a few more clubs as well about getting a more experienced centre-half but Tom is definitely a good option for us to bring back.”

As well battling relegation, Barrow remain in both the FA Cup and FA Trophy competitions, with a second round replay at Macclesfield Town in the former a week today and a third round trip to Gateshead in the latter on Saturday, January 12, on the horizon.

The tie at Macclesfield looks set to be tense affair, following Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Holker Street, from which Barrow were unlucky not to emerge victorious.

And as if £27,000 in prize money and a third round home game against Championship leaders Cardiff City was not enough to motivate the Bluebirds, Bayliss said some of the quotes given by Macclesfield manager Steve King following the first encounter will only act to fire up Barrow’s players even more.

“We were massively unlucky not to win the game on Tuesday and then you have people like their manager (King) coming out with quotes saying they were the better side, saying they were the only ones who wanted to play football,” said the AFC boss.

“We had more shots on target and more possession of the football.

“He’s worried because he came to a good old fashioned club like Barrow and we beat them in all aspects of the game. Okay, we didn’t get the result but what he has done is fire us up even more. It gives us extra motivation going into the replay.”

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