BEN Nicholson is City's new fitness coach to fill the gap left by Robert Lossau's return home.

Nicholson has begun work at Valley Parade this week after leaving the staff at Manchester City.

He previously held roles in rugby league with the Bulls and England as well as at FC Halifax Town.

Nicholson said: "Coming here was a no-brainer for me. I will be working to combine sports science and conditioning as we look to keep the players in peak shape."

“Having worked at both non-league and Premier League level, I am very much looking forward to applying my practises at such a big club.

“There are plenty of little wins we can achieve straight from the off. We have assessed the players and are monitoring the intensity levels of training.

"The coaching staff have been very receptive and the players are already responding well. Everyone is keen to work hard here.”

City have been looking to fill the post of performance coach since Chris Short quit in the summer after 18 months at the club.

Lossau, who had preceded him in the role, returned to work with the squad during pre-season. But it was only intended as a stop-gap move because he still lives in South Korea and the German departed a couple of games into the campaign.

Meanwhile, City are hoping to bring in another central midfielder before tomorrow's 5pm loan deadline.

Former loanees Callum Guy and Josh Cullen look out of the equation, though.

Guy impressed at Valley Parade during the difficult end to last season. But he has only recently come back from injury, playing for Derby's under-23s in their win at Chelsea on Friday, and is looking to force his way into the first-team plans under new Rams boss Frank Lampard.

Cullen was on the West Ham bench in their Carabao Cup victory at Wimbledon on Tuesday. But he is being heavily linked with a loan switch to Charlton and the chance to stay in London may sway his decision to move on.

Meanwhile, Matt Kilgallon's move to Hamilton is getting closer and is expected to go through without a hitch.