Crawley will look to the loan market and free agents to strengthen their squad after opting not to make any signings on deadline day.

Boss John Gregory is keen to bring in at least two new faces over the next two weeks to strengthen his inexperienced squad but refused to be pressured into any deals before the window shut.

Gregory had made enquiries about two northern based players but pulled the plug as they did not want to relocate to the south.

He said: “We have got a good squad but we obviously need to improve both in terms of numbers and quality. That was never in doubt from the first game of the season but it has to be right.

“We spoke to one or two lads who live in the north but they wanted to train up there and just come down on matchdays which was never going to work.

“In our financial situation we have got to be very careful with every penny we spend but mark my words there will be players coming in over the next couple of weeks. By the middle of September we will have a much stronger squad.”

The only movement at the Stadium yesterday came when out-of-favour defender Connor Essam joined Dover Athletic after having his contract terminated.

But significantly Reds were able to keep hold of Wales under-21 international Joe Walsh amid speculation that a number of Championship clubs were keen on the former Swansea centre-back.

Gregory added: “Keeping Joe was very important. Having lost two of my best players in Andy (Drury) and Kyle (McFadzean) in the summer and then seeing Josh (Simpson) get injured in the first game I think I might have thrown myself in the Thames if Joe had gone as well.

“There were a few phones calls enquiring about his situation but fortunately it didn’t go any further and I breathed a huge sigh of relief when the clock ticked past 11pm.

“The fact Joe is still here was the biggest thing for me yesterday as he is a big, big player for us. It might be that people are waiting to see where they are in January but at least I can relax for another two or three months.”