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Wealdstone boss Bartlett hopes loan signing Luke O’Nien will inspire better performances

PUBLISHED: 17:27 27 August 2014 | UPDATED: 17:38 27 August 2014

Wealdstone's Luke O'Nien. Pic: Steve Foster/Wea?ldstone FC

Wealdstone's Luke O'Nien. Pic: Steve Foster/Wea?ldstone FC

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Wealdstone boss Gordon Bartlett hopes the loan signing of Luke O’Nien from Watford will help inspire better performances from the other midfielders at the club.

O’Nien, 19, was handed a second 12-month professional contract by the Hornets this summer after initially not receiving a deal – and he returns to Grosvenor Vale, where he enjoyed a one-month loan spell last season.

After coming off the bench during the second half of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at home to Farnborough, O’Nien started on Monday, helping the Stones to a goalless draw against a highly-fancied Ebbsfleet team.

Bartlett said: “He has come in for a reason – I think we have lacked a bit of energy.

“There’s the warning shot for the other players – ‘we’ve brought somebody in, so come on, lift it up, you’re capable of doing better’.

“We know these players are capable of doing better – they haven’t done it so far.

“There’s a situation where if they are not going to take their opportunity there’s the next one in the pecking order.”

Bartlett made changes for the trip to Ebbsfleet with Toby Little, Tom Hickey and Michael Malcolm dropping to the bench and Wes Parker came in for the injured Tom Hamblin.

The Stones boss admits he will continue to shuffle his pack until he gets the balance right and has not ruled out dipping into the transfer market again if the right player becomes available.

He said: “We will keep tweaking it until hopefully we can get it right.

“There are no specific positions that I’m going to say we are looking – we are always looking to strengthen the team and the group.

“We have brought Luke in and if the right person becomes available we will keep looking.

“But at the moment we will work with what we have got here.

“It is up to us and the players to put it right. You’ve got to trust your players.

“They are here because we believe they are good enough – it’s going to take a bit of time.”

Bartlett admits his team are missing the creativity Glen Little and Tom Pett brought last season.

He said: “If you lose someone who has played 500 Football League games and you lose someone like Tom Pett – they are hard to replace. They are hard to find on what we are prepared to pay.

“What we’ve got to do is get on with what we have got until somebody becomes available.”

Follow me on Twitter @RobBrennan82


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