PHIL Parkinson has outlined plans to hit the loan market again for next season.
City's recruitment drive is starting to step up a gear with two new faces – Billy Knott and Gary Liddle – and three contracts done.
Parkinson knows there are still plenty of holes to fill but has to work it round a playing budget that is £500,000 down on last summer.
He is therefore aiming to bolster the squad with long-term loanees – something that is not likely to happen until nearer the start of the new campaign.
He said: "We've got to be patient. Our aim is once pre-season is underway to give a couple of players one-year loans. That's what we are working towards.
"Obviously you have to wait for the clubs of those players to make decisions about them. But there has been an indication of the players we're inquiring about.
"We've let it be known that we are in the running for those players but it's up to what the specific managers decide to do with them.
"Loans can obviously be good value financially, which is important in our situation. It can make a difference to the strength of the squad if you can go out and get that extra bit of quality from the loan market."
City had seven borrowed players at one stage last term because of injuries and the likes of Adam Reach, Kyle Bennett, Adam Drury and Jon Stead all made their mark in ensuring a mid-table finish.
Reach, in particular, stood out with three goals from 18 appearances and Parkinson has hinted that he would love to bring back the Middlesbrough left winger.
But the youngster started Boro's final home game on his return and then came off the bench to set up a goal at Yeovil on the final day. It suggests he may well be in Aitor Karanka's first-team thinking next term.
Someone like Aston Villa winger Jack Grealish, who enjoyed an impressive loan spell with Notts County, could be a target. He was outstanding when City were beaten 3-0 at Meadow Lane on New Year's Day.
Parkinson said: "Ideally you don't want a squad full of loan players. You want a core of your own and that's what we are trying to do at the moment.
"We want to get them in place and then see what we can perhaps bring in on loan in terms of added quality."