Doncaster Rovers: Don't be fooled by Darren Moore's nonchalance over January transfer window - Liam Hoden column

He is a man who keeps his cards firmly to his chest – albeit in the most polite of manners.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 11:55 am
Darren Moore and assistant manager Jamie Smith,

Darren Moore will never shoot down a question he does not want to answer. There will be no short, sharp rebuttals to stop the interviewer in his tracks.

Instead, he will politely address what has been asked and cutely take his answer off in a different direction. All the while, his cards stay stuck to his barrel chest.

So it is best to not fall into the trap of fully believing Moore when he talks about where his focus will be put over the next few weeks as January approaches.

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When saying he feels he must focus on upcoming fixtures rather than transfer talk, it’s a fairly safe assumption that he simply does not want to engage in conversations about the approaching window.

No one would want Moore to take his eye fully off the ball when it comes to preparing for the five games to be played before the transfer window opens. Nor would a coach as meticulous as he is allow that to happen.

But it would be foolish to believe that the January window is only occupying the tiniest fraction of his thoughts – despite what he has said.

This is a man who spends hours of his time at Cantley Park, long after the players have departed, taking phone calls and making plans.

A lot of the leg work for next month has already been done. It started even before the last window closed.

Targets have been identified, enquiries made. The next few weeks are about getting deals over that fabled line.

From what I understand, new talent identification manager Adam Henshall will only be supplementing work that has already been done for January. Henshall’s primary focus will lie beyond the next transfer window.

Next month is a pivotal one in Rovers’ season. If they have any ambitions of pushing for the top six then they must exit the month with a stronger squad than what they start it with.

One particular area of the squad is key. And no prizes in guessing which.

The injury to Kazaiah Sterling left Rovers a striker down, when they were already a striker down from where Moore wanted them to be after the deal ‘pedigree’ forward disappeared at the end of the last window.

Expect the attacking issue to be addressed. Expect that it already has been addressed.

Moore’s nonchalant response to a question over January sent a section of the Rovers support into a bit of a panic.

I would not go as far as saying that panic is not needed. The weeks ahead are indeed huge in transfer business terms.

As we saw in August, there are no guarantees the right sort of players will walk through the doors at the Keepmoat before the end of January.

But, to borrow a Moore phrase, it won’t be for the want of trying.