Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray has vowed to get his summer transfer business done early and believes for once the market will favour clubs not players.
With two games still to go this season, Murray is already trying to tie down his targets and said the days of players holding out for more money in the summer window are gone.
“I think this season more than ever will be unlucky for the player as I do believe it will be a clubs’ summer this summer, a clubs’ transfer window,” he said.
“With the amount of young players now playing first team football, the fight for jobs is getting bigger every year.
“So players need to get contracts sorted and the business done early or you are in the rat race and before you know there is a phone call, another player is available, and you are second best.
“That contract isn’t there any more. That’s the horrible nature of the business.
“What people sometimes forget is that they are humans, with kids and dogs and cats and they have things they like and mortgages and girlfriends who will spend the money.”
He added: “The game is moving very quickly. We have had people contact us and say they are happy to come down and speak to you now and get everything agreed. People are eager now and don’t want to be without a job.
“People have gambled in years gone by. They’ve gone – I don’t want that, I will wait a month down the line as I think I’ll get better than that.
“I think those days are gone now. You’ll wait five weeks down the line and the deal has gone and you don’t get as much as you were first offered.
“I tell our young players you are honoured and privileged to be in the game so be proud about it. Once you risk that chance of leaving the game you are a brave man.”
Murray said he wanted to keep the majority of his current squad but strengthen areas in which his side have lacked.
“We have the loans that will go back and a few that will be leaving us, but it won’t be anywhere last year as that was obviously starting from scratch,” he said. “But we do need to tweak it and bring bits in.
“It’s not necessarily going out and signing five or six top class players. It’s about getting the right ingredients to add to what we’ve already got.
“We know what those pieces are and it’s obviously finding them and getting them to come to the club for the right price.
“As we haven’t got a recruiting department or scouting department, everything is on us, so it’s tough preparing here and getting out to see games. You can’t work more hours than there are in a day. That is the next step for the club.
“But we want our work done early before the summer really kicks in. We know what we want.”
With the abolition of the loan windows in England next season. Murray said he would have to run a slightly bigger squad.
“With the new loan window rules we may have to recruit a couple of extra bodies as if you get injuries in that gap you are stuck,” he said.
“I like a small squad and the chairman likes a small squad. Not that it’s financially better but that it gives you, like we’ve seen, a ridiculous team spirit.
“I think you can get through probably with 23/24. That’s 23/24 that on any given day can go in and play. They can start matches for you and keep up standards.”
He added: “Our pre-season is virtually finished, plans in place. The boys will be working part of the summer as some of them need to stay on top of things and get fitter.
“We need to come back next season ready to go again and I don’t actually want this season to finish right now. I’m in a good mode and the players are in a good mode.”
Stags head to Leyton Orient on Saturday with an almost clean bill of health, though Junior Daniel took a knock in training today while Dan Alfei has had further treatment on his hamstring.