IAN Evatt believes the recent signings of Sam Hird and Dior Angus will help Barrow AFC’s progression going into the rest of the season.

Experienced defender Hird and pacy striker Angus are both set to make their debuts for the Bluebirds in this afternoon’s National League match against FC Halifax Town at Holker Street.

Evatt stated after AFC’s previous match – the 2-0 loss against Havant & Waterlooville two weeks ago – that he needed “one or two more” players and he has been able to bring in two players he’d had his eye on for some time.

He had previously tried to sign Hird after his former Chesterfield teammate was released by the Spireites last summer, while Port Vale loanee Angus was identified as a target after Tyler Smith was recalled by Sheffield United last month.

Evatt said: “There is a hell of a lot of work that goes into signing players – we don’t just sign players off the cuff. We do our research, we do due diligence, we do background checks for the right characters.

“We don’t always get it right, but I think mostly this season we have.

“I certainly think when you see Sam play, and Dior, you’ll see that they make us stronger.

“That’s the thing with football; you can never rest on your laurels and you have to keep moving forwards and improve the team when necessary, and I think we’ve done that.”

The game against Halifax is Barrow’s first after a two-week break from action and it begins one of the sparser periods in their calendar, which is in contrast to how they will have to begin March.

With the league match at home to Leyton Orient being moved to Tuesday, March 5, due to the O’s continued participation in the FA Trophy, the Bluebirds face playing four games in 10 days – one more than they will play in the whole of February.

That period includes trips to Barnet and promotion-hopefuls Wrexham, along with Aldershot Town visiting Holker Street, and is followed by the long trek to Eastleigh as well.

Evatt is pragmatic about the situation though and knows the team could well find themselves with plenty to play for by then.

Evatt said: “It’s not ideal, but it is what it is and we just need to get on with it.

“Come March, we need to be in a position where we’ve got something to play for and I’ve said many times that my aspirations are for us to be sniffing around that top seven.

“If we can have a good February and a good end to January, then we’ve certainly got aspirations to do that. The acquisitions we’ve made have been excellent.”