WANDERERS have blocked a loan move from Derby County for Danny Shittu.

Rams boss Paul Jewell wanted to take the big centre-half to Pride Park for a month but was turned down by Gary Megson because of his own lack of defensive cover.

Shittu has not figured since the 3-1 defeat to Arsenal in September yet remains the only other senior defender currently at his disposal with Nicky Hunt on loan at Birmingham City.

The Wanderers boss has admitted, however, that Heidar Helguson could be allowed to leave after QPR enquired about his services late last week.

The Iceland international has made only one start this season and it has been mooted he could be in line for a permanent move in January.

“There was contact from QPR but I can’t say at the moment what will or won’t happen,” Megson said.

“With Danny, Paul (Jewell) phoned me on Monday to ask if he would be available but we had to say no.”

Megson has admitted taking risks by maintaining a threadbare squad but has pledged to make signings when the transfer window reopens in seven week’s time.

“We need more bodies and that has got to be done in January,” he said.

“But it isn’t a case of just signing players. It’s easy to end up with 40 pros, a huge wage bill and not enough quality.

“We need to find that quality in numbers now because there are not enough players at this football club to get us through. We are gambling but we knew that at the start of the year.”

Megson has allowed 18 players to leave the club since taking over 12 months ago, signing eight.

This season he has allowed Blerim Dzemaili (Torino), Jaroslav Fojut (Stockport) and Nicky Hunt (Birmingham) to leave on loan – although Fojut is currently back at the club after picking up an injury.

But, unable to boost his own squad with temporary transfers, the Whites boss knows he will have to sail close to the wind in some areas of the squad for the next eight games of the season before being able to bring in new blood.

“It doesn’t take a genius to work out where I need to strengthen,” he said.

“On the left-hand side is an area where we have got real Premier League quality.

“Decisions have to be made there - we have got Matty Taylor, Ricardo Gardner and Jlloyd Samuel. We have also got Ebi Smolarek and Riga who could play there at a push.

“There are other positions where we have got choice but we’re a bit thin on the ground if we lose someone, like we saw this weekend against Hull.

“We have got eight games to play before then so we have got to try and get through that period and get as many points as we can before we strengthen for the run-in.”

Megson has also warned that his side must accrue as many pre-January points as possible with clubs such as Spurs, Manchester City and Sunderland set to spend big in the transfer window to drag themselves up the table.

“It is harder getting points in the second half of the season,” he said. “The big clubs who are in an area of the table they don’t want to be in will spend their way to get out of it.

“That makes it difficult for those clubs who don’t have the finances that they have.”