Billy Davies aiming to shore up his leaky Nottingham Forest defence
BILLY Davies has made shoring up his leaky Nottingham Forest defence a priority – but admits he may not properly be able to address the problem until the summer.
The Reds' trademark under Davies previously, during his first spell in charge, was always their resolute solidity at the back.
But he has now inherited a side that has not kept a clean sheet in ten games, conceding 21 goals along the way.
Davies knows it is a problem that needs addressing – but believes it stems from the fact half of his back four is comprised of loan players.
Cheap Van Insurance For 17,18 & 19 Year Old Drivers - Call Insure365 01782 898188, Free Legal Protection Cover Included valued at £25.00!
Terms: 1 Voucher Per Customer
Contact: 01782 898188
Valid until: Monday, June 24 2013
And that is an issue that cannot be addressed at the City Ground until the transfer window opens properly again in the summer.
"Three of the back four are on loan and we have to look at building from the back and getting some stability in there," said Davies.
"That cannot be done until the summer time, as you know.
"There are a lot of different things we want to look at . . . pace, the back four, the fact that there are so many loan players in the squad."
Elliott Ward, Gonzalo Jara and Daniel Ayala are all on loan at Forest, although, in the case of Ward and Jara, the deals were done with a view to a permanent move in the summer, when their contracts, at Norwich and West Brom respectively, expire.
That does not help Davies in the short term, at a time when the club already has four players on loan, when you include striker Billy Sharp.
If he does make further loan additions, the returning manager can only use a maximum of five of them in a match day squad.
And he knows that could be a familiar issue, saying: "Bringing in more loan players would give us the same problems as last time.
"If I have seven loan players, I need to drop two of them on a match day.
"I have to leave out good players and let them watch the game, because of the situation.
"It is nice to be able to bring in a couple of loan players, but not if it means you have to drop other players."
Davies has been told, by owner Fawaz Al Hasawi, that he will be supported in the loan market, if he desires.
But the manager plans to tread carefully.
"He's made it clear that, if we need loan signings, they are there for us, they are available," he said. "But I've made it clear I want to assess the team first.
"Let me see if we can win football matches without taking for taking's sake.
"The money is there; the option is there but it is not about that. It is about needs must.
"Why did I recommend a player in the January when I was last here? I recommended because quite simply I felt that's what it would take to get us over the line.
"It is the same again here. I will tell him what I think, I will make suggestions."
"We will sit down and put together a package for a player and, if the selling club is willing to do business, we will."