THE capture of Brandon Fleming on loan from Hull City is far from being Keith Hill’s final piece of business this month.

With his team suffering testing times on the field, the Wanderers boss says there is little respite in between matchdays, having been unsuccessful in landing two other targets this week.

Highly-rated left-back Fleming is likely to come in to the Whites’ line-up at the University of Bolton Stadium this afternoon.

And when the dust has settled on today’s game against Portsmouth, it is back to scouring the market for reinforcements for Hill, who continues to rebuild his squad under the EFL-imposed restrictions.

“I certainly hope there will be more to come in in January,” said the manager. “There’s a lot of work going on. The window is alive and kicking, there are massive processes, because there’s not just one person involved in recruitment, there are a number of issues with football clubs, players, representatives and you might get a green light but then within a day it’s changed.

“The team that you’re trying to take a player from may have lost out on a player they thought they had so it’s like a domino effect, recruitment.

“It’s difficult because you can feel you’ve got one or two over the line, yesterday for example we had three but only ended up with one (Fleming). So that’s the way it goes. You’ve got to look beyond that, keep your patience and prepare your team for Portsmouth.

“The players need help, and the biggest help that they can give themselves is self-help, self-protection – that’s where they have to perform.

“January is tough for a lot of reasons. It’s tough because the players we want to recruit are better and they will make us better and they support the team being better. The players that we’re chasing can make us better but they have got other options but we can’t take away from the mindset from the player that we’re trying to chase down.

“The league table doesn’t lie. And it’s an open window, it’s a window of opportunity for a lot of players, a lot of players at football clubs hold their cards close to their chest for as long as they possibly can.

“There’s no ‘hard sell’ on attracting players, but you’ve got to filter what it is we need instead of the need for players. We need a better quality of player for us to win games and the quality players that we’ve had have left because there are better opportunities for them.

“This is still a big football club and we want players to come and represent this football club and represent the situation that we’re in. We want fighters. We are working really hard on bringing better players to the club to give ourselves better opportunities to win football matches.

“Until we get those players in to make the group stronger we have to deal with the players that we have available. And for the players we have available the games represent opportunities for those players to improve, learn and become better themselves.”

Wanderers go into today’s match on the back of three defeats in League One, the latest of which was Tuesday’s 5-1 humbling at Lincoln City.

Pompey, meanwhile, arrive in Bolton in a rich vein of form, having won their last three matches.

So, while his team are widely expected to suffer a fourth straight loss, Hill says he looks at the south-coast club as an example of how clubs can eventually climb their way back up the divisions after suffering the toughest of times.

“It’s a difficult situation right now but I’ve got to remind myself that Portsmouth were in a similar position,” he added. “It was hard for them and I witnessed Portsmouth get relegated from the Championship, get relegated from League One and spend three seasons in League Two to get promoted, to build a squad capable of getting promoted from League One. And there are still no guarantees of that.

“They’re a big football club who are trying to rebuild the structure, the footballing side of it. We will rebuild and playing against Portsmouth is a great challenge, for the players individually, a challenge for the ones who haven’t been playing on a regular basis to put a shirt on and say ‘here I am, this is what I can do’.

“Collectively they’ve got to support one another and I hope everyone in that stadium supports this team we put out on Saturday in pursuit of three points.”