Having been told he will have to sell some of his existing players before he can buy any new ones Tony Mowbray has begun that process by telling Pascal Zuberbuhler and Ronnie Wallwork they can look elsewhere for regular football.
The West Bromwich Albion manager yesterday confirmed that two of Bryan Robson's favourites – Wallwork was a virtual ever present in Robson's midfield, while Zuberbuhler was signed by Mowbray's predecessor in the summer – would be allowed to leave The Hawthorns on loan.
Mowbray pointed to the renaissance of Russell Hoult and presence of Luke Steele as factors behind his decision to allow the Swiss to pursue his career away from the club he joined a mere four months ago.
Zuberbuhler appeared in the first 15 matches of the season but became the butt of jokes among Albion supporters with his unreliable kicking and a unconvincing displays.
He was dropped following West Brom's disastrous 3-3 draw with Queens Park Rangers and has not featured since.
Mowbray revealed his decision was affected by the fans' reaction to the 35-year-old. "He was in goal when I arrived and he did fine for a few games. The situation changed and I felt his confidence levels got hit a little bit," Mowbray said.
"Ultimately the decision to leave him out the team was taken because of the negative impact from the terraces on the team rather than himself. The team needs backing, support and everyone behind it.
"Zubi as a character is a first-class man. He is a very hard working, conscientious individual. Goalkeepers are allowed to make mistakes because there is not a goalkeeper in the world who doesn't cost his team a goal somewhere down the line.
"If the manager chops and changes his goalie every week he ends up losing the confidence of all his goalkeepers. You give them the opportunity and allow them the mistake. I'd like to think I stuck by Zubi for a period of time.
"There is nothing personal it is just me trying to do what is best for the club and the team. He's a wonderful guy, great professional and good to have around the building."
Hoult has been first choice since the QPR debacle – when Albion threw away two leading situations to draw a game they had dominated – and kept his team's first clean sheet in six games in Saturday's 3-0 win over Burnley.
"I thought Russell was excellent on Saturday," Mowbray added. "We've got young Luke Steele sitting in behind him so Zubi is out of the picture. At his age I understand that he wants to play, and needs to play, which is the reason his name has been circulated. If there is any interest there we won't stand in his way."
Wallwork is another player who has found his chances restricted since Mowbray's move from Hibernian having made just one start.
Richard Chaplow and Darren Carter have seen their prospects improved under the new man and with Jonathan Greening due back from suspension, Zoltan Gera soon to be fit again and Nigel Quashie and Jason Koumas regulars, Wallwork's defensive style does not suit Mowbray.
"Ronnie is another lad who is a very good professional," he said. "He's never a problem at all and gets on with his training.
"When he's asked to play he plays well. But Ronnie needs to go and play football. He's been on the bench and on the periphery.
"He played well against QPR but I feel as if Ronnie needs to go and play, which is why his details have been circulated. With two further quality midfielders coming back in Jonathan Greening and Zoltan Gera, he is going to get further pushed back.
"It's a benefit to the player and the football club if he gets first-team football somewhere else and we won't stand in his way. We'll see what develops."