CHRIS Hughton admitted it was a "frustrating" transfer deadline day for Newcastle United but said the players he was offered were not the right fit for his table-topping side.
Despite Hughton having talked of making at least two additions to his Championship leaders’ ranks, United’s only piece of business on a quiet day was re-signing free agent Peter Løvenkrands on a three-year contract.
Hughton has revealed that he did have a small budget to pay transfer fees but focused his attention on the loan market because that was where he could bring in the kind of quality that would improve United. He had wanted to bring in Manchester United youngster Craig Cathcart but could not agree terms with the Northern Ireland defender – although that deal could be revisited next week.
Indeed, the United caretaker boss is hopeful of bringing in further players when the loan window reopens in seven days’ time, even though he feels the squad is “very close” to where he wants it to be.
“We were absolutely delighted to bring Peter (Løvenkrands) in but I think everybody is a bit frustrated that there weren’t more (signings),” he said.
“We had looked at bringing another couple of bodies in the right circumstances but they had to be the right players. A lot of names were put to us over the course of the last few days but the players that were offered weren’t right for us. We had to make decisions about whether they were the right players on the
right terms. Despite our very best efforts that didn’t really happen, to be honest. What we do know is that in a week’s time we are able to bring in players over a three-month period and that is something I think we will try to do.”
Newcastle owner Mike Ashley had made a small pot of cash available to bring players in, but Hughton admits he was eyeing temporary deals.
“We were mostly looking at loans,” he said. “It was a consideration (to pay a transfer fee) but there was not really anyone that came in our price bracket to be honest. That was frustrating but we didn’t feel that we needed to add to much to the squad, to be honest. We’re very close to having the squad that I want and we have some very good young players who I will not be afraid of giving a chance.
“We know that we have to add but the most important thing was that they were the right players so as not to upset the balance we have at the moment.”
Despite not reinforcing the squad as he had wanted to, Hughton is pleased that there have been no further departures – despite interest in the likes of Andrew Carroll, Steven Taylor and Kevin Nolan.
United received offers for each of them but all enquiries were knocked back.
“For me the best news of the transfer window – and I’m delighted that we managed to bring in Peter – is that we didn’t allow any more players to leave,” he said.
Meanwhile, Løvenkrands said he is delighted to be back in the North East on a long-term deal – but warns it may take him a bit of time to get up to match speed.
“I’m delighted to be back at Newcastle and this gives me a bit of security. I can move my family here now and really get on with making this a success,” he said.
“I have been keeping very fit by training with Rangers and I feel fine and ready to go. But there is a difference between ‘running fit’ and ‘match fit’. Hopefully it won’t take too long. The ultimate aim is to be in the Premier League next season and the lads have had a great start.”