JAMES McPAKE has admitted that Dunfermline’s pursuit of players to bolster his squad has been frustrating.

The Pars boss, who last week made goalkeeper Max Little his third acquisition since taking charge, knows that he needs reinforcements to supplement a pool that is light in numbers.

He has identified a centre back as a priority – Kyle Benedictus and Rhys Breen his two main natural players in that position – as well as other areas of the team.

“We are light, and we know that. We need reinforcements, we need to get players in the building,” he told Press Sport, ahead of yesterday's League One opener with Alloa Athletic.

“We’re working hard, it’s frustrating, but we’ll keep working to get the right ones in. We want people in the door, we want to add to our squad.

“There’s Chris Hamilton out (with suspension) this weekend, so we’re a body down again. Graham (Dorrnas) will not be fit for this weekend, I don’t think, so we’re two down, two big players for us as well.

“We’re actively working in the background to bring players in like every other manager.

“It gets to that point, where we are, if Kyle Benedictus gets injured, if Rhys Breen gets injured, we’ve no real centre backs there that you can say ‘go and play’.

“It’s got to be players that can come in and progress us as a club as well. I don’t want to just sign someone and panic.

“We’ll never go down that route. We don’t want to do that, and I think the two we have that have been – Max is obviously just in a week – but the two that came in at the start, Chris Hamilton and Kyle Benedictus, have improved the team.

“They’ve been excellent so far and that’s the type of calibre of player we’re trying to bring in, not just players to fill a bench. We want to bring players in that, one, can play in the team or, two, fight with whoever’s in that position to get in the team, and hold that place down in the team.

“I don’t know why, and I hear most managers saying it, but it’s a tough window. I don’t know why it is – it’s certainly the strangest one I’ve had, and this is maybe my seventh window – but, hopefully, things started turning over a bit quicker than they have been doing.”

On the arrival of former QPR goalkeeper Little, McPake continued: “Fair play to Deniz (Mehmet); he’s been great.

“He had a dislocated finger and didn’t play the Kilmarnock game. He’s come back in and he’s shown bravery to do that, but that was a worry, and that was something that was keeping me up at night.

“But, we’ve got Max in now. He’s in to fight to Deniz for the number one jersey, so that’s good. Now we move on to that centre back area, and other areas of the pitch, where we know we’re light.”

Club chairman and CEO David Cook added: “Yes, the target is to strengthen further. I think we have to accept though with dropping down a division, what we’re trying to do is recruit quality, not necessarily quantity.”