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More new players in the pipeline

12th June 2019

Steve Watson has revealed that he is still targeting 'three or four' new signings before the start of next season.

The City manager beat off competition from clubs higher up the league pyramid to sign striker Dan Maguire from Blyth Spartans on Wednesday morning and a new goalkeeper is next on his shopping list.

He has already secured the services of midfielders Kieran Green (Blyth) and Paddy McLaughlin (Hartlepool United) this summer while Ryan Whitley, Macaulay Langstaff, Adriano Moke, and Joe Tait signed new deals and the club exercised a contractual option to keep forward Alex Kempster.

"If you look at the way we finished the season - and look at the form from February - there wasn't the enormous amount of changes needed that maybe people thought earlier in the season," said Watson.

"We finished with second or third placed form. We are now looking to just add that extra bit of guaranteed quality, something different, to the players that have already re-signed.

"It's just a case of cracking on with three or four more and that will get me to a position where I will be very happy starting the season.

"We have got a goalkeeper who has agreed to sign," he revealed. "However, I don't take anything for granted until the pen is on the paper because there has been a lot of chopping and changing of minds this summer!

"We had somebody agree to sign but he's on holiday now. Hopefully, that will be done when he gets back. We are speaking to three or four more people but, again, they are all away and they have all got decisions to make because they are all players that have got different options. You would expect that because players who are going to make a difference for us are players that other teams will want.

"We are going to have to be patient and hope that they drop, ideally, before pre-season, but if it goes into pre-season, so be it," he stressed. "I won't panic too much if everybody is not signed by the time we start (pre-season) but, in an ideal world, that's how I want it."

Watson, meanwhile, has not ruled out the possibility of further departures this summer, saying: "I think departures in a club are inevitable if players think they are not going to be involved or not going to be playing - but it's up to the players to be involved and to get in the team. As I said to the lads before they left - and I will re-iterate it when we start pre-season - 'you all have the same chance'.

"There are people who haven't been involved much (yet) and there are a couple of young lads who are going to be training with us. If it comes to the end of pre-season and they think their involvement is not going to be here, inevitably people will want to go out and play but I will understand that."

Watch the full interview with Steve Watson by clicking the link below:

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