WANDERERS will be on their guard over the next 48 hours for any bids to sign highly-rated midfielder Ronan Darcy.

Several clubs have kept close tabs on the 19-year-old playmaker, who has yet to sign a professional deal with the club.

It is hoped that Darcy will soon follow fellow academy graduate Dennis Politic into signing a new contract with Bolton but Hill remains concerned that the club could be vulnerable to late offers in the January window.

“I will be looking to keep the majority of the squad I have got but I know I could still lose some key players because it’s an open window,” he told The Bolton News.

On the incoming front, Hill confirmed that two targets had slipped the net on Tuesday but that he would be moving to sign others before 11pm tomorrow.

“It’s a difficult month to recruit in at the best of times but especially in the position we’re in, the embargo, it’s twice as difficult,” he said. “But we will work as hard as we possibly can, go back to the list and see what options we have.”

Wanderers could use a pick-me-up after what was a fairly passive 1-1 draw against Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night. Hill also hopes the point, grabbed in the 82nd minute with Daryl Murphy’s header, eases some of the pressure that has built on the players in recent weeks. “It stopped the rot and hopefully it gives the players a bit of respite going into Saturday’s game,” he said. “We need to get the players to relax and express themselves better. We want continuity and to be able to pick a steady side that can impact opponents, have a rhythm. But at this moment in time we are not able to do that.”

New signings may well lift spirits in the way Hill describes and provide the competition for places which he feels will bring more out of the existing players.

“You have to find solid ground and we are not there yet,” he said. “We haven’t been there.

“It is hard work but it’s worth it. We are a long way away from building what we need to build. We need to support the players. We need to give them more players so that they can feel better about themselves and their opportunities and so that we can express ourselves better.

“I want the players to express themselves in and out of possession and I think they are trying too hard. It’s a lonely place being on a football pitch sometimes.”