Garry Haylock hopes to solve a question that has vexed Hayes & Yeading United all season and beyond, by the end of the week.
Left midfield has been a long-term problem for the Hayes & Yeading United manager and none of his half a dozen or more solutions has really convinced.
Josh Scott, James Mulley, Esmond James and Staforde Palmer have all been asked to fill in, with varying degrees of success, while the naturally left-sided Toby Little has seen his season almost entirely wiped out through injury and Calum Botham's loan from Wycombe Wanderers has ended.
But now, after an exhaustive search, Haylock believes he could have his man on board in time for the visit of Weston-Super-Mare on Saturday.
"I'm looking for real quality," explained Haylock. "I'm looking for someone that can do a better job than Josh, James Mulley or Staforde.
"I don't want somebody who can do an adequate job, but someone who can take it up a level.
"I've got four options, all of which are too expensive, but I would hope to have one of them by the end of the week."
The manager's search has taken him into the Conference National but one club asked United to pay the £800 per week wages of a player they were looking to ship out anyway, another has offers from two full-time clubs and the third would have to travel a considerable distance.
The fourth is the most likely target
for a loan or non-contract deal with a chance of signing permanently, although he has not trained for two weeks due to illness.
Haylock remains confident his side can make the play-offs despite taking only 13 points from the last 33, especially now they have strung together a run of three draws and one win.
"From reaching a low point against Telford we've now played ourselves into a little bit of form," he commented. "If the Weston game goes ahead and we win it we're in a strong position.
"We're getting better, we're improv
ing. We're not playing with the confidence we had earlier in the season and that's what we need to get back.
"We can really achieve something this year.
"We could be at the start of a 15-game unbeaten run with 10 wins and five draws and if we do that we would probably get there.
"There's four or five clubs in for that last play-off spot.
"We can achieve the play-offs but we've got to put that run together and now."
United will have to do it without Matt Ruby for the time being after
he was stretchered off at Basingstoke Town last Saturday.
It was feared he had fractured his ankle, similar to Palmer, but Haylock is hoping an X-ray will confirm it is nothing worse than a bad sprain.
Steve Perkins is set to deputise although Peter Collins and Gary MacDonald could also cover.
United travel to leaders AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday hoping to repeat the 2-1 win they achieved at Church Road in September although since then they have won just four league games. 20090204