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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Tuesday, January 2nd 2018

City under no pressure to sell players - Ashton

City will be looking to recruit during the January transfer window but are under no pressure to sell players.

That's the message from the club's chief executive officer Mark Ashton, with head coach Lee Johnson insisting new faces will help the current setup.

The CEO and Johnson have spoken exclusively to BCTV about their plans.

The transfer window opened on New Year's Day and closes at 11pm on January 31st.

The club is adamant any new signings will help, not unsettle the squad.

BUSINESS AS USUAL

Ashton said: "We’ve been working hard for a number of months now on both a January and summer transfer windows. We try to work two windows in advance, we try to plan as best as we can and that’s not easy at times.

"It is business as usual. We have spent a lot of time building a squad, a group, a culture at this football club over the last six to nine months and we’re not going to unsettle that.

"We will look to go into the market, that’s for sure, and people keep asking ‘are we going to sell players?’ Let me be clear: Steve (Lansdown, owner) has not put us under any pressure to sell players.

"Any players that leaves this football club, if they do leave this FC, as and when will be when we deem it appropriate.

"Our players are under contract, we’re trying to build something here, so it’s business as usual and we’re in a good place."

NOT AN EASY TRANSFER WINDOW

Former City midfielder-turned-head coach Johnson spoke about potentially dipping his toes into the transfer window, following the Aston Villa result on New Year's Day.

He said: "Yes but it’s not easy. We have very good players who may have not looked like that against Aston Villa, particularly when the Villa fans were mocking us.

"We’ll see who ends up higher by the end of the league but I think it’s important that we give the lads a little bit of help so we’ll do our very best. We have names but it is not an easy window to recruit in.

"We’ve got to bring the right characters in, the right humans, very good footballers but character is massively important now because the next league game is an important game."

Johnson has confirmed that winger Jonathan Leko has returned to his parent club West Brom. He said he "goes back with our best wishes".