ANDREW Davies has welcomed City’s new midfield with the warning: You’ve got a tough act to follow.
There will be a very different look to the Valley Parade engine room next season as Phil Parkinson’s summer transfer business begins to build momentum.
Former Notts County battler Gary Liddle arrived on Monday hot on the heels of Billy Knott. Matty Dolan had already made his loan deal permanent after joining in January.
With skipper Gary Jones followed out of the exit this week by Nathan Doyle, it represents a changing of the guard from the history-makers of 2013.
Davies believes the time is right for a shake-up of the squad but is not underestimating the size of the job ahead for the midfield new boys.
The influential defender said: “Nathan Doyle and Gary Jones were two very good midfielders for us but players move on.
“The important thing is that you continue to build and bring in people who are just as good, if not better.
“I know Gary from playing in the same FA Youth Cup team at Middlesbrough. We got to the final that year before losing to Man United.
“I was too old to be involved the following year but he was in the team again which went on to win it.
“Unfortunately it didn’t happen for him at Boro but he’s had a good, steady career since. He went on to Hartlepool and did really well and was an important player for Notts County.
“He will be a decent acquisition for us because he’s a good player and I know Billy Knott is highly-rated as well. He’s a young lad who’s only going to get better.
“It’s going to be a massive act to follow next season after Jonah and Doyley but we need to kick on again.”
Parkinson has to juggle with a budget that has been cut by £500,000 from last season – but Davies is confident that City can rebuild a squad capable of beating last season’s 11th-placed finish.
He said: “This is a very ambitious club. The manager is ambitious, the two chairmen are ambitious, they all want to keep going forward.
“They are thinking that we finished mid-table with the squad we had last year, so what do we need to do to push on from here?
“We’ve got to strengthen in a few areas and that is what they are trying to do. It’s been a good start and the players who have come in so far look very good signings.”