Gary O’Neil: Wolves struggling to do business in January

Wolves manager Gary O’Neil admits January will be difficult for his team, due to financial restrictions.

The club have eased the issues from the summer which caused them a headache but must still tread carefully.

Wolves sold £140million of talent in the summer, including £47million Ruben Neves to Al Hilal, to balance the books and avoid any Financial Fair Play punishment.

Any incomings to Molineux are likely to be initial loans and O’Neil knows the club need to navigate their way through the month.

“January is a tough month to do transfers. Not many teams want to lose their better players or any in January. It’s a tricky market,” he said, ahead of Friday’s FA Cup third-round trip to Brentford.

“The financial restrictions we faced in the summer are still firmly in place.

“We’re working hard to improve the group but within a tough January and the financial restrictions.

“It’s not a surprise to me, I understand it and have zero complaints about it. It’ll be tough to improve this group.

“On the question of outs before ins, probably. If we can do that it may help us with things coming in. That’ll be pretty much how the month unfolds.

“We’ve coped well so far. The full focus is on what we have and what we’re trying to be.”

Mario Lemina remains on compassionate leave following the death of his father last week, Hwang Hee-Chan is with South Korea at the Asian Cup, while Boubacar Traore (Mali) and Rayan Ait-Nouri (Algeria) are on African Nations Cup duty.

Wolves face a second trip to Brentford in 10 days after beating them 4-1 in the Premier League last week.

O’Neil said: “Numbers are short so rotation will be tricky. We’re not sure where Brentford would be with it (selection).

“They are tough team at home and have a fantastic manager (Thomas Frank) who has managed to overachieve with the group and budget.

“The 4-1 win will have no bearing on the game. Brentford made a couple of errors and we were extremely clinical.

“There’s not a real change in focus, maybe a few more people looking up than down but I’m aware how quickly that can change. I want people to be excited.

“We came into a place where everything was a little down and gloomy but at this moment it isn’t, I want the fans to talk about the what ifs.”