St Mirren manager Stephen Robinson expects a busy month of “wheeling and dealing” as he looks to boost his side’s top-six hopes.
There has already been transfer activity in Paisley with Elvis Bwomono making his debut in Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat by Celtic.
Thierry Small has returned to Southampton following a loan spell in which he made six appearances and the club have recalled Kieran Offord from struggling Edinburgh City.
Robinson, who was missing skipper Mark O’Hara as well as long-term absentee Ryan Strain against Celtic and has Australia midfielder Keanu Baccus on Asian Cup duty, said: “We need to refresh ourselves and get new bodies in.
“There’s not loads wrong – we are sitting fifth in the table after a year where we finished in the top six. There’s a lot of good stuff, a lot of positives, it’s now up to me to try and keep that going and sign players that I owe to the current players to give them another boost and a kick-on.
“We are going to have to do a little bit of wheeling and dealing to do that.
“Certainly there will have to be people going out for me to strengthen. There’s not a bottomless pit to go and invest in the squad. We need to move people out and it’s up to me to do that.
“That’s the hard bit of football because sometimes, through nobody’s fault, you need to create some funds to strengthen areas we are weak in. We need to do that and we are going to spend the whole of January trying to do that.
“We have already got plenty of targets. Attracting them and getting them up to Scottish football is quite difficult at times but we are working on it.”
Robinson does not expect decisions on outgoing players to be taken out of his hands.
“Unless it’s a ridiculous offer, and then it becomes a financial decision for the football club, which I totally understand, the board are in no rush to sell anybody,” he said.
“It will have to be at a very good price and we must have a replacement for them.
“Our challenge is, for the resources we have, we have got a very good starting 11. We don’t pay them particularly well but to replace them on that level of resource is very, very difficult.
“To strengthen your starting 11 is very difficult but if we can overall enhance our squad and add a little bit of freshness, it’s been a very, very good year and we have to try and kick on.
“I’m confident the group of boys we have that we want to keep at the football club, will still be here.”
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