Clock is ticking - but Wigan Athletic recruitment drive already well under way
Shaun Maloney's Wigan Athletic recruitment plans were well under way before his unveiling on Saturday - as a result of his dalliance with the club two months ago.
The clock is well and truly ticking, with Maloney only having until 11pm on Tuesday to bolster his squad for the second half of the campaign.
But having assessed the current group with a fine-tooth comb prior to being interviewed for the vacancy following Leam Richardson's departure, it's meant he's been able to hit the ground running after succeeding Kolo Toure.
When asked about his recruitment plans, Maloney admitted: "I think I'm already there really.
"When I got the phonecall, the assessment of the squad was already done.
"I know this group, and from the moment the phonecall came, I knew - from the work I'd already done - what was needed.
"What I do believe is there's certain areas where we need to lift the squad, there's certain profiles we perhaps don't have.
"But it's also about improving the players we have here, and getting the best out of them as well.
"Yes, players might be coming in, but that's not the only issue."
With 18 games to play, and a four-point deficit - effectively five points with goal difference - to make up, Maloney's brief is clear.
"The objective is obviously to stay in this league," he said.
"We're still within touching distance, and we have to be better than the five or six other clubs who are down there with us.
"For the next 10 games until the next international break, there will be objectives for the players, and we have to stop the rot we're in.
"That's down to every day, and the intensity we bring, and making sure we're a hell of a lot harder to beat than we have been - and that starts from now."
Maloney is hopeful of bringing in several players – with defence and attack the main areas of interest.
West Brom’s Martin Kelly – who can cover centre-half and full-back – is understood to be a prime target.
However, one man who will not be arriving at Wigan is former Manchester United defender Tyler Blackett.
Previous manager Toure had lined him up to join this week.
But the managerial change has meant the landscape has changed.