Ian Evatt believes Wanderers are already looking a more powerful force after adding right-back Marlon Fossey to his squad.
Fossey has joined Wanderers from Championship outfit Fulham on loan for the remainder of the season.
The arrival of the 23-year-old follows the New Year’s Day capture of goalscorer Dion Charles from Accrington Stanley.
And with players returning from injury and illness following the COVID outbreak which forced the temporary closure of the Whites’ training ground, Evatt has welcomed greater strength in the depth.
“People are returning all the time, so already picking the team and the bench for tomorrow night all of a sudden it looks a lot more competitive and stronger than it has been,” said the Wanderers’ boss.
“We’re not in 100 per cent condition yet but that will come pretty quickly.
“There are more bodies to come, hopefully, this week at some stage and people returning from injury all the time, so things are looking a lot brighter.”
Wanderers head to Hartlepool United on Tuesday night for a last-16 tie in the Papa John’s Trophy.
Fossey and Charles – who is not cup-tied – will be available pending the rubber-stamping of their registrations as Wanderers' players.
And Evatt is looking forward to seeing Fossey in a Wanderers’ shirt as the United States-born defender – who could become a permanent transfer target in the summer – offers a timely option in the right-back berth.
“We’ve had deficiencies in the squad. We’ve relied on heavily on some younger players who have done fantastically well when called upon but aren’t ready to play week-in, week-out, so we needed to strengthen in that area, especially while Gethin (Jones) is recovering,” added Evatt, who has been without Jones and Lloyd Isgrove for a lengthy spell.
“Gethin is doing well, which is pleasing, but Marlon gives us a real competitive edge in that position in now.
“He’s a player we’ve had an eye on for a while. He’s a player that fits the way we play.
“His athletic profile is fantastic, he’s good in possession; everything we require from our full-backs, really. He ticks a lot of boxes.
“He’s had a great pedigree, a good background, fantastic attitude and we’re looking forward to working with him.”
Evatt – who is eyeing a possible further three arrivals early in the transfer window – is also ready to welcome back midfielder MJ Williams for the trip to Pools.
But Kieran Lee remains sidelined by COVID and forwards Xav Amaechi and Ronan Darcy are still to receive international clearance to be able to play.
To watch the manager's pre-match interview on Fossey, Hartlepool and other squad news, click HERE