Santos Out To Seize Fresh Start

Ricardo Almeida Santos believes it will still be a happy New Year for Wanderers as they head towards the second half of the season.

The Whites endured a tough end to 2021 and lost on their return to action on 1 January to sit 16th in the League One table.

But Ian Evatt’s men did enough to take some reward from League One leaders Rotherham in a first game in three weeks following the COVID outbreak that had decimated his squad.

And with players returning to fitness and new signings on the way to supplement the arrival of striker Dion Charles, Santos believes lift-off is on the way.

“The gaffer told us afterwards it’s a new year and a fresh start,” said the Wanderers’ skipper, who produced a typically towering performance in the 2-1 loss at the New York Stadium.

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“Everyone was disappointed but pleased that we showed so much desire despite our fitness and not playing games.

“I think we did well. I think we could have left with something but everyone walked out of here with their heads up and we just have to stick together, keep believing and I think we can do something this year.

“I know where we are sitting in the league isn’t the greatest and we don’t want to be there but there’s still a long time to go.”

The signing of Charles from Accrington Stanley gave Wanderers the perfect start to the January transfer window with other new faces expected to arrive shortly.

Midfielder MJ Williams is also back in training following his COVID-enforced absence, although Kieran Lee will be out for longer.

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And Santos hopes the reinforcements will have a similar effect to 12 months ago when Evatt’s men launched their run towards promotion.

“There are guys coming back from injury and the gaffer is going to try and bring in some players,” added the skipper, who immediate focus is on getting past Hartlepool on Tuesday night to reach the quarter-finals of the Papa John’s Trophy.

“He’s already brought in Dion, who looks very good, so it’s exciting.

“It was the same thing last year. It was the same time of year we got a few new players in and it was a fresh start.

“We’ve got to keep going, stick together and have the belief.

“There’s lots to look forward to, starting on Tuesday night.

“We have a chance to go to Wembley so we will be going out there to win and do whatever we have to do to keep going through that tournament.”

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