GREG Abbott insists City will not be "exploited" by clubs in the mad rush to make January signings.

The head of recruitment confirmed there are offers in for players to bolster Stuart McCall's squad.

But he admitted the competition for their top targets during the window means there are no guarantees in a market where prices are being driven up.

Abbott said: "There are plenty of irons in the fire. The easiest thing is identifying targets.

"But we've got to remember we're at the top end of League One and everyone we identify, there will be other good clubs with the same names on their list.

"There are obvious names out there that everyone thinks you should go and get. We are making enquiries about these players – but so are a lot of others.

"Clubs know they can exploit people who want players at this time of year. It's a short window and the costings are therefore a bit higher than they need to be.

"You're in the hands of selling clubs, while trying not to get the wrong player at the wrong price.

"There are one or two offers lodged, loan and permanent, and they will improve us if they come off."

Non-League striker Cody Cooke is the latest name to be linked with City after netting 11 goals in 23 games for Truro City in National League South.

Yet Abbott stressed that any recruits now must be ready-made for being thrown straight into the League One promotion battle.

He said: "Somebody did mention him. But we're probably in a position at the minute where you don't want to take too many gambles.

"Summer is the time for that where you're building the squad with, say, four strikers and a Cody Cooke.

"There are one or two signings that we have done for the future, as we did with Omari (Patrick) and Tyrell (Robinson) last year. But we'll be looking at them from February onwards.

"What we're looking for now is people who you know can come in and react to where we are in the table and give us that push."

Current injuries, along with Luke Hendrie's departure, has also meant a change in tack for Abbott's thinking. While priority areas such as another target man persist, his attention has switched to filling other gaps.

Abbott said: "Up to two weeks ago, I was probably looking at different positions to what I am now.

"But circumstances change the train of thought. You've almost got to have all 11 positions covered.

"We've got issues with one or two players carrying injuries, others need cover and some really shouldn't be playing four games in eight days.

"You're looking at players to cover them, players to improve your squad and players to give us an extra push to promotion from our position now.

"There are a lot of good names down but it's getting those deals done that's not quite so easy.

"The valuable thing with Luke was that he can play in a number of positions. He is a terrific pro in terms of his attitude.

"But between everybody, we couldn't get the deal right – and that happens.

"We'll look for somebody else in those positions to give us the depth of cover that we need.

"We're scoring goals at the minute but probably conceding too many, so we have to look at that side of it."

City are looking to swell the numbers before they face Northampton at Valley Parade next weekend but Abbott is not making promises.

He said: "You don't want to build up hopes for fans and deliver nothing. We will try and get in the right players as quickly as we can.

"It would be nice to have somebody in for Saturday because I think we need to bolster the squad after one or two niggling injuries."