Paul Hartley admits the transfer market has its challenges this summer amid a surge in the number of free agents.
The Cove Rangers boss is looking to add further to his squad after the signings of Adam Livingstone and Leighton McIntosh, but sees a lack of options, for the time being, which would improve his side.
Livingstone comes in after a long association with Premiership side Motherwell, who released him in the summer, while McIntosh has senior experience with clubs such as Dundee and Peterhead.
But the number of available players, owing to clubs reducing their squads due to the financial strain brought on by the pandemic, does not necessarily guarantee quality.
Hartley said: “I think it’s still difficult. It’s not easy. You can try get loans, but you don’t know how long for or if some of the top-flight teams are wanting to hold on to their players for a bit longer.
“You think there’s a lot of players out there, but you need to have players you think can bring something.
“There’s a lot of players out there, but not ones I think are the right ones for us.
“We’re probably not the only club, but we’ve had a lot of players thrown at us. Some of them won’t improve our squad – they need to be better than what we’ve got. The two we’ve got in will definitely add to the group.
“There’s not a great deal where you think ‘can they help us?’ There’s some players that have gone to a higher league where we thought we had a wee chance, so that’s the difficulty.
“But we’re happy with what we’ve got and we’ll be patient. Hopefully we can use the loan market to our advantage; we think Cove is a good sell for clubs to send players here.”
Hartley indicated that Cove are prepared to look further afield as far as recruitment is concerned, with Livingstone becoming an option thanks to his past connection with Cove assistant boss Gordon Young.
Earlier this year they recruited Broque Watson, who was at Celtic as a youngster and had been playing at Annan Athletic.
He added: “You always try to get good players. We think we’ve got the best players in this area, in the north, but you always have to look to improve the squad.
“We’ve got a good group already and for me it doesn’t matter where they come from. If they can fit into your squad and are good players, we’ll try and get them.”