IDENTIFYING transfer targets this January for St Mirren has been tougher than last year according to manager Jack Ross, when the club saw 10 players join and 10 players leave the Paisley side.

The Buddies boss completed a huge overhaul last season, as he eventually overturned Saints fortunes after he drastically changed his squad.

With winger Lewis Morgan expected to complete a rumoured £300,000 move to Celtic and being loaned back to the club, it opens up more options for the Saints manager.

The Paisley club have added Danny Mullen from Livingston so far, and Ross has identified a central midfielder as his next priority to bring in to add depth to his squad.

He said: “It’s probably a more challenging window than it was last season.

“I know that sounds probably crazy to say that, but when you’re doing well then identifying players to make you better is not easy. And once you identify them to come it’s not easy because they’re usually good players in a good position.

"When we’re trying to identify players there’s ones that can help us achieve promotion, and then still be here.

"And that becomes a different recruitment aspect as well. But it was good, it was a challenging aspect for James [Fowler, assistant manager] and I to look at but it’s the way we’ve approached it.

“I need another midfielder in. I’ve known all season that we’re a bit light in that area.

"We’ve been fortunate that we’ve relied on Stephen [McGinn] and Ian [McShane] who, touchwood, have stayed injury free but it’s been a big demand on them.

“Other than that probably looking for good players.”

And while he is looking to add a couple of players, the former Alloa manager admitted there was the chance several players will exit the Paisley 2021 Stadium this window.

He added: “There will be maybe one or two more than will move on.

“When you do well as we’ve done this season, there’s usually a core group that have been playing regularly in that squad who haven’t had much game time.

“If results were a bit more up and down they may have been playing more regularly simply because you would have made more changes to your team.

“I never have an issue with a player being frustrated or disappointed at game time, and we may have a couple leaving in that direction.”