The Dolly Blues have lost a number of key individuals in recent weeks with Lewis Fensome the latest to depart after being enticed to Macclesfield.
A good run over the final 16 games of the season could see City force their way into the promotion reckoning, but with his squad depleted, Fell knows he is just a couple of injuries and suspensions away from being seriously depleted.
“We have got seven days’ notice on a few players and by today, we should be able to speak to those players,” said Fell, whose men host Radcliffe this weekend. "So I am hoping to have a least one new signing in time for this weekend.
“The squad is wafer-thin now so we can’t really afford another injury, suspension or player leaving.
“We have identified the players but getting the business done is not that straight-forward.
“The players we want are either playing for clubs higher than us or are at a club which is doing really well in a division below, lower down the pyramid.
“They have got to weigh up whether they leave to join a club which effectively is in a mid-table position.
“You look at a player who is with a club at the top of the division below, they will probably stay there until the end of the season.
“It’s a really tough market at the moment and then we have also got to look at the loan market but that is rubbish at the moment.
“A lot of clubs have changed their terms with regards to players.
“They will give you the player for ‘X’ amount of their wages but if they don’t play – and that’s a hard compromise for us – or they are on the bench, then we will have to pay their full wage.
“So you could get a young pro who is on £500 a week and we pay £100 of that, but if we put them on the bench then it’s going to cost us £500 and that’s just not possible for us.”
City are currently in 13th spot in the table – 11 points shy of the play-off.
Fell believes his men will have to win between eight or 10 games of their final 16 games to have any chance of pushing for a top five position at the end of the season.
This weekend’s visitors to the Giant Axe, Radcliffe, are one place below City in the table with the same number of points.
“If we want to do anything this season then we have to beat Radcliffe this weekend,” he said.
“We have to win, that’s a fact. Does it put pressure on us? Yes, I suppose it does.
“But if we want to do anything then we have to beat these teams .
“If we don’t then we will stay in mid-table and then we will have to start building for next season.”
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