Steve Holland admits Crewe Alexandra are unlikely to be able to re-sign Ipswich Town winger Gary Roberts on loan.
Roberts made four appearances during his stint at Crewe, but has returned to Ipswich to receive treatment on an Achilles injury.
And, with Ipswich boss Jim Magilton encountering injury problems of his own, Crewe's first-team coach Holland does not expect to bring Roberts back to Gresty Road.
"Signing Gary back on loan is unlikely," Holland told the club's official website.
All about timing
"Ipswich want to keep him there because Jim (Magilton) has missed out on one or two targets and has to cope with a couple of injuries as well.
"I think we were lucky to get Gary in the first place. Ipswich were reluctant to lend him out at first and I think it was all about the timing."
However, Holland is refusing to concede defeat in his lengthy pursuit of Burnley forward Steve Jones, who spent five years at Crewe earlier in his career.
"I don't think it would be possible to sign Gary, but I haven't given up on Steve Jones just yet," added Holland.
"I've kept in contact with him and he is set to return to training this week. It is something I've kept an eye on and something could still occur before next week's deadline if it suits all parties."