Don't dismiss the sentiment driving frustration among Doncaster Rovers supporters - business MUST be done this week: Liam Hoden column
Labelling it the most decisive week of the season for Doncaster Rovers might be a bit of a stretch but the ripples from the events of the next few days will likely be felt for the rest of the campaign.
The transfer deadline is in view and business has yet to be finalised this month to a squad made to look all the more threadbare by the fact only six substitutes were named for the previous match.
To say certain fans are getting antsy is an understatement. To say most are at least slightly nervous is pretty much on the nose.
Allowing the noise and growing vitriol of an increasingly frustrated section of the support to influence activity this week would be foolish. And Rovers are highly unlikely to fall into the trap of crowd-pleasing moves after coming so far through the month going about things in their own way.
But that is not to say that the noise should be dismissed entirely. Certainly not the sentiment behind it.
Supporters want to see action in the transfer market this week that will aid the upward curve the side have been on since Christmas and ensure the squad is bolstered for what will be a busy second half of the season.
Varying degrees of expectation drive the desire for action, of course.
It is definitely unreasonable to expect Rovers to automatically match the achievements of last season. But it is certainly reasonable to ask that building blocks are put in place to at least get the squad back on track towards being as strong as the one decimated after reaching the play-offs last term.
One thing which seems to have united supporters over a month which has seen plenty of division is the faith in what boss Darren Moore has delivered on the pitch.
The job that has been done by Moore, his staff and his players so far has been excellent. At times, pretty remarkable, given the resources available.
For a club that has experienced a good deal of misfortune - in the transfer market in particular - it seems strange to suggest they have enjoyed their fair share of luck also.
That is not intended to take away any credit for the efforts and achievements of anyone this season.
But that they managed to get through the energy-sapping festive period with no serious injuries is certainly fortunate. Even more so given that, in certain areas of the squad, there is absolutely no wiggle room when it comes to absences.
Misfortune can be characterised in the frustrating situation of Kazaiah Sterling - a loanee from whom plenty was expected, before what should have been a manageable injury became something much more serious, through no fault of Rovers or the player himself.
And Rovers would already have had one striker through the door very early this month, had Norwich not suffered an injury crisis among their forwards which led to target Adam Idah scoring a hat trick after being called upon for the FA Cup.
A similar misfortune had previously hit Rovers in late August, when loan deal was secured for a striker who then scored for his club in cup competition and was instead retained. That teenager has gone on to make almost two dozen appearances for his club this season, with the vast majority coming in the Premier League.
Examples such as this and Idah show Rovers are shopping in the right market as they look for improvement - and that they do deserve some sympathy for their bad luck.
But calls for sympathy will have less credence if Rovers are damaged at any point between now and the end of the season by a lack of new additions this month.
Moore wants the 'right' players in through the door. And so he should.
He also wants players that serve the long term vision he has for the squad. And on that note is he right too.
The process of identifying them has gone on since the last window closed. Those players, in a complicated, intricate web of planning, are being waited for.
Patience has been required this month and Moore in particular has more than earned the show of faith the situation has demanded. The club's hierarchy too.
But it is inescapable that business simply must get done before 11pm on Friday.
However virtuous the reasons may be for not doing so already, there will be little understanding for that when the window slams shut. Justifiably so.
What will be most frustrating is sitting down in May and recounting all the areas of missed opportunities which could have cost a highly promising group the chance of something special.
Missed opportunities where a new striker or two could have powered them over the line. Where an extra body in a certain area would have not left them short at a key moment.
Faith has been shown in the man with a plan and the men who hold the purse strings.
The plan needs to deliver in the dying days of the month. January must not be remembered as the biggest of missed opportunities for Doncaster Rovers.