Loan ranger Alan Knill still scouting player market to boost Scunthorpe United
Manager Alan Knill says he is already planning for the day when his latest Scunthorpe United additions leave.
The Iron are currently reaping the rewards of having players such as Leon Clarke, Karl Hawley and David Prutton in their ranks on a short-term basis.
The trio have helped get United off the mark in League One, playing their part in a three-match unbeaten run with Charlton Athletic loanee Clarke finding the net in each.
But such is the nature of boosting a squad with loan players, and the club's tight financial constraints, Knill admits he is having to plan ahead.
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Prutton and Clarke are scheduled to remain with Scunthorpe for three months, while front man Hawley's deal keeps him at Glanford Park until January.
"In a few months we might lose them, but that's unfortunately how it is," said Knill.
"You'd like to go, 'here you go, here's a contract', but we can't do that.
"You just have to try to be looking in advance all the time.
"You're thinking, we might lose this one here, but we've got this one coming in.
"For us now, we're trying to work three months in advance because we think we've got Leon for three months, but that could change, so we always have to have somebody who's a go-to, all the time.
"I suppose we're no different to others and you just have to be on your toes all the time, that something might change and you have to reassess all the time.
"There's loads of players we could take but… if you asked everybody, 'who would you sign?', they'd come up with an unbelievable list that would not fit into what we can afford.
"We have to be prudent and we have to call on favours of people we know. Hopefully they do us a favour, then it's our job to bring those players in and work hard with those players to make them better."
While those three players, as well as Chris Sedgwick, who signed last week on non-contract terms, are at Glanford Park, Knill believes his squad are better equipped to deal with the rigours of League One.
Although reluctant to discuss targets and where he feels this team can finish, the manager feels they are making progress.
"All I've said all along, is for us to be better than last year," Knill said.
"We have to play the loan market really well, which we think we've done and are doing.
"We have to sign players we think are going to help us along the way, so there's a lot of stuff.
"But I think we're going to get better, I think the team's going to get better and the squad is going to get better.
"It was important for us to have a squad that could compete and it was pretty obvious we didn't.
"We didn't have enough in the squad.
"There were some key players out that would have helped, but just in general, we didn't have a squad.
"We had to use that money wisely when we lost Bobby (Grant) and try to sign the right players who we thought would help us.
"I think we've done that."