ANDY Preece says that he is hoping to add at least one new face to his Airbus UK Broughton squad this month, ideally before Friday night's showdown with Europa League rivals Aberystwyth Town at the Hollingsworth Group Stadium.

Although confidence will be sky high after 4-0 and 3-0 wins over Flintshire neighbours Gap Connah’s Quay during the festive period, Preece's squad continues to be stretched because of suspensions and injuries – with key players Ashley Williams, Ryan Wignall and Ryan Wade all ruled out.

After Glenn Rule and Lewis Short limped off against the Nomads a week ago – in addition to captain Ian Kearney being sidelined for the season – Preece could be struggling to field much more than a first 11 against the second-placed Seasiders.

"We’ve had problems all season and it's a big worry," Preece told the Chronicle.

"We're looking at adding to the squad because if we get a couple more injuries in key areas we’ll really be up against it.  

"I don't think any other team could have handled losing as many key players to injuries as we've done so far this season and still get the results. That's why I’m so pleased with where we are."

One of the Wingmakers' key tasks on Friday will be keeping quiet last season's Golden Boot winner Chris Venables, who already has 23 goals to his name this term and has attracted the interest of Football League clubs including Walsall and Newport County.

Preece tried to sign the 29-year-old midfielder in his first season with the Wingmakers and believes he's good enough to make the step up late in his career.

"Like almost every other player we go for in this league, someone else came along and offered him a deal we couldn’t compete with," bemoaned Preece.

"We’re still looking to bring one or two in, but I think it's unlikely we'll make any major signings. It's difficult with the budget being cut. 

"For a relatively minimal outlay we could improve the squad, but I understand the board don't want to take any risks when you consider what's happened to clubs like Neath and Llanelli."