ANDY KING is expecting a Scrooge-like response from other managers in the build-up to Christmas as he looks to bolster a squad hit by the loss of midfielder Johnnie Jackson.

The 20-year-old has returned to White Hart Lane after three months at the County Ground, shrinking King's already small squad yet further as Town prepare for tomorrow's match at Plymouth Argyle.

With the transfer embargo due to be lifted in the next few days, King has no shortage of loan opportunities at his disposal.

However, getting the players he wants on board at this time of year could prove extremely difficult with little festive goodwill between managers.

He said: "I spoke to John Gorman on Thursday morning and he and Jackson felt the lad's career would benefit at this time by going back to Spurs rather than staying with us for the remaining five months of the season.

"Johnnie feels he has a chance to press for a first-team slot at Spurs and I wish him all the best. He has been a smashing lad for us and on the park he contributed a lot to our recent successes.

"I am sad to see him go but I understand his reasons."

King is desperate to fill the void left by the departures of Jackson and Jimmy Davis.

But he said: "Christmas is coming and people are not going to let people go out on loan. Not with a programme of five games in eight days.

"It will be very hard to go to a club and find players available, particularly players of the stature I want to strengthen my squad. Of course I am going to look, make inquiries and hope I can find a gem.

"But let's wait until the embargo is actually lifted. What's that expression about putting the cart before the horse? When I have the all-clear I will do my job.

"I have a list of names. Names I have never been short of."

Jackson, meanwhile, is not ruling out a return.

The former England Under 20 captain said: "Hopefully I can go back to Spurs and force my way into the gaffer's plans.

"But I have really enjoyed my time at Swindon. Playing first team football every week has been a brilliant experience.

"I have spoken to Andy King and there is always a chance I could come back if it didn't look like I was going to be part of Glenn Hoddle's squad this year."

The consolation for King is the return of Andy Gurney and Steve Robinson to the squad, but he added: "What I don't want are any further suspensions or injuries tomorrow."

As for the embargo, Town director Bob Holt said: "Hopefully it will be lifted by Wednesday or Thursday next week."

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