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Chris Beardsley first of Bristol Rovers signings as John Ward adds attacking options

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: January 07, 2014

Bristol Rovers have secured Chris Beardsley for the rest of the season

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Bristol Rovers boss John Ward will continue his search to add further attacking options to his squad after completing a deal to retain the services of Chris Beardsley until the end of the season.

Ward yesterday confirmed Preston North End striker Beardsley had become his first signing of the January transfer window and that he is hopeful of adding another new face in attacking areas before the end of the month.

"I have spoken to one or two people about different possibilities, but it wouldn't be fair to disclose names at this stage," said Ward.

"We are trying to increase the squad a little bit more at the front of the team, and we'd probably be looking at getting something wide or central in addition to Chris.

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"We think there has been enough good football at the back and in the middle of the pitch to work around, but we need to increase that goals total.

"That is something that has been staring us in the face because if we had scored a few more goals we'd be in a better position than we are at the moment."

Ward added: "We have one or two names in mind, but as yet nothing is fixed. January is a time when loans are easier to come by than permanent signings.

"Things crop up daily during the window and if you jump in too early, you can often miss out on something more suitable a little bit further down the line.

"There are players out there who will be affected if their club brings in another player and then he suddenly become available.

"We also have the loan window after January ends, but, considering the amount of games we have coming up, I'd like to get a new face in sooner rather than later."

On Beardsley, Ward added: "Chris has agreed to stay until the end of the season. He is an experienced player who got two goals in his first four games for us.

"He has enjoyed his football here, he knows he is going to get some chances to play, and I am pleased he is here.

"He is a real hard-working guy, both on and off the pitch, and he has been a good influence with some of the young players. With all the games coming up thick and fast we feel that between them, Chris and Matt (Harrold) will give us good cover in that position at the front of the team."

Beardsley, who has scored two goals in seven appearances since arriving at the start of November, said: "I'm looking forward to getting my head down and cracking on."

On his time so far, Beardsley added: "I felt I settled in here quite quickly, but getting sent off at Burton after the first four or five games knocked me back a bit.

"The lads did quite well when I was out suspended, so it has been hard to get back in the team. There are games coming up thick and fast now and it would be nice if I could get going again.

"I just want to get back on the pitch and trying to help the team win some games. We have to take every game as it comes and try to build a bit of momentum."

Striker Ryan Brunt is likely to be out until the start of March after the striker's knee failed to respond to an injection designed to cure the problem at the start of December.

After seeing a specialist he needs eight more weeks to recover but won't need more surgery.

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