Ross County manager John Hughes says Covid-19 is proving an additional challenge in his efforts to bolster the Staggies’ squad this month.
Hughes, who took over from Stuart Kettlewell last month, is keen to add to his squad in an attempt to help the Dingwall club climb off the foot of the Premiership.
Hughes says he has already received a knockback from a player he thought was over the line, due to his target being unwilling to uproot to the Highlands during a period when Scotland has been returned into lockdown.
Hughes said: “I want to speak to the players about leaving families and all the Covid protocol there is.
“It’s important I speak to the player for his mindset first and foremost, to find out where his mentality is.
“If they can they come and help us out until the end of the season, they know they probably have to leave their family, certainly if they are coming cross-border.
“I just feel a lot of players, even if they are not getting a game at their club, they are weighing up the pros and cons. Do they come here and play football and leave their family? Or do they not play football but go back to their family?
“It has happened to me once, where I think the deal is done and eventually right at the last minute I get a phone call from the agent saying the boy doesn’t fancy it, he wants to stay with his family.
“It doesn’t stop us chipping away. That’s part and parcel of the job.
“I don’t get too down on it, we just look at what else is out there.”
Hughes says he is predominantly looking to the Scottish market in his recruitment, with the Staggies boss hoping to avoid waiting until the end of the window for reinforcements.
Hughes added: “We are working hard to identify players and it is not easy in this window.
“They have to be better than what we have got. I look at it as getting one or two in to help the boys along, and give them a hand.
“It is harder with the new lockdown rules. I have looked at foreign players but they look very hard to do, so you are limited.
“I’m just hoping we can get them done sooner rather than later. You don’t want to be chasing your tail right at the end of the window.
“The whole landscape has changed. All the clubs in Scotland will all be looking for the same players.
“That doesn’t mean there are no players going about that will do you a job between now and the end of the season.
“I have the scope to bring two or three in.”
Former Caley Thistle manager Hughes is putting his contacts to use, in order to gain information on potential new recruits.
He added: “My work at the moment is trying to get character references by talking to people I know and their old managers constantly.
“If I get one character reference, I’m looking for two or three about what he can bring.
“I also have to consider if he will come in and fit right in with the boys, is he exactly what we need?
“It’s really difficult, but it will be no different from any other club.”