Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans today revealed he has completed the signings of three new players for 2017 and they are already in the building and training at the club.
Evans also said he may bring in two or three more in the January window, which opens next week.
But he also admitted the best case scenario would be that the arrival of the new faces lifted his current squad to turn in much improved performances that made it unable for his new signings to get into the team.
Evans is expecting to reveal the names of the trio already signed as soon as Stags have completed the tough task of facing League Two leaders Doncaster Rovers at home on Saturday (12.15pm).
“I don’t really want to talk about new signings as we have a massive game here on New Year’s Eve,” he said.
“What I can say is three lads have joined us. They have put pen to paper.
“I looked at them this morning, one could play, one could really play and one was even better than that!
“We are not going to talk any more about them than that.
“They obviously can’t play for us until the authorities allow the transfer window to open up on 1st January.
“But thanks to their clubs and their representatives, and the lads themselves who wanted to be here, they are training and in the building, which is great.”
He added: “The chairman has sanctioned those deals and they are done.
“But I don’t want to give those lads any more focus than to give them a bit of work over the next week on the fitness side and make sure we get everything diligently done as early as we can it January.
“Night follows day, but it doesn’t mean we will have everyone available for Blackpool (on Monday). But we’d like to have as many of them as possible.”
Evans refused to name any of the three signed so far, saying: “You know how football works.
“There is a grapevine. People talk, names will be out there, some will be true, some will be inaccurate, but we don’t want to talk about specifics as we have a real responsibility to be professional to those other clubs as well.
“But the lads are here and we are pleased we have got them.
“Subject to the Football League and Football Association ratification, I don’t think there will be any worries about unveiling them on New Year’s Eve.
“Let’s hope we are talking about them on the back of a really good performance and result against the league leaders.
“That’s the important part we want to focus on and then, later in the evening, we will give our supporters some news as we enter 2017.”
Evans said the trio would not be the last of the new faces in January, though how many more are needed is still unclear.
“You can never put a definite number on it,” he said. “We are working on different options, different opportunities all the way from the Premier League to non-League.
“If I had to give supporters a number I might say two or three more.
“I have to believe they (the new players) are going to make us better – and there are two ways that could happen.
“They may come in, we put them in their team and they show why we have signed them with their performances.
“Or they may come into the building, as they have, and others in their positions perform to a level that make it unable to bring them in - that is a perfect situation.
“I have been there at previous clubs where I have made signings, thinking they would improve us, but the performances of the guys you’ve already got goes up so dramatically that they keep them out.”
He added: “It’s probably fair to say too many players at Mansfield Town, certainly I would think this season, but I can say in the last five weeks, have probably come in on a Saturday, put their shirt on and know they are going to be named in the team.
“I want it to get to the stage I have been fortunate to have before where one or two – like the Frecklingtons, the Morgans, the Arnasons at Rotherham, used to say ‘don’t get ready, because you may not be playing’.
“That goes a long way when you are winning every week and you know, or most people could guess a side.
“But where we are now we shouldn’t have anyone coming in saying they’ve got a shirt.”
Evans will reveal which current players are in his long-term plans next week and said: “I think the first thing you must do when you walk into a football club is give everyone an opportunity.
“My remit is the football operation. I don’t run the business side. That is run by other people.
“You have to give everyone an opportunity and there is an expression in football – they get the rope. They either swing on the rope or they hang themselves. It’s a bad expression but it’s a true expression.
“What it really means it we have had ample opportunity now to assess everyone, where they currently are, where they could go, where they might be.
“My recommendations, as everyone knows, have been made to the board, chairman and chief executive.
“I have spent a lot of time on the phone with them and they are so positive – they are great. They are trying to help this football club and me as a manager in every way they can.”