Chris Errington: New recruits a top priority for Plymouth Argyle
THE CALLS from Argyle fans for owner and chairman James Brent to splash the cash on new recruits will only have intensified after the 4-0 defeat by Port Vale on Saturday.
The long-suffering Green Army are facing a fifth successive season where the Pilgrims have been involved in a fight against relegation.
It is no wonder patience is wearing thin, if not disappeared completely in some cases, because of that.
New manager John Sheridan faces a tough task to turn around Argyle's fortunes.
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Sheridan will want to put his stamp on the squad immediately and, from what I can gather, there could be two or three signings already lined up.
They could be available to make their debuts against Morecambe at Home Park this Saturday.
Goalscoring continues to be a huge problem for the Pilgrims, and it needs to be solved soon if they are to escape relegation.
The game against Port Vale only highlighted the issue further.
Tom Pope scored his 22nd and 23rd league goals of the season for title-chasing Vale in their victory over Argyle.
All the relegation-threatened Pilgrims can muster is four players on three league goals each.
One of them, Guy Madjo, is no longer at the club after completing a three-month loan spell.
Finding free-scoring strikers, especially when you are facing a fight against relegation, is not easy or cheap.
I would argue, however, that Argyle need strengthening in all areas of the pitch, not only in attack.
Three clean sheets in 27 league games is a very poor return and, again, that needs to be addressed.
The departure of defender Darren Purse will reduce Argyle's wage-bill and free up some money to spend on new recruits.
The Green Army are understandably worried about the threat of relegation and want to see action taken to avoid that possibility.
Carl Fletcher has been removed as manager and now is the time for the squad to be shaken up.
It is not as simple as throwing pots of money at it, though, as Argyle have to abide by a 'salary cap'.
All clubs in League Two this season can only spend 55 per cent of their turnover on wages.
Failure to stick to that rule would lead to a transfer embargo and, apparently, the Football League are very watchful.
Brent has already had to dig into his own pockets to fund a shortfall caused by below-budget attendances at Home Park this season.
And he has repeatedly made it clear his aim is for a sustainable club, so I would be surprised to see him sanction any transfer fees being paid.
Loan signings, therefore, are the most likely route Sheridan will take as he tries to lead Argyle to safety.