NEWPORT County AFC manager James Rowberry is preparing for a first January of wheeling and dealing but activity will be shaped by the coronavirus pandemic.

There have been a raft of postponements in December in the EFL because of outbreaks and more are likely heading into January.

The Exiles’ Boxing Day game at Rodney Parade was postponed because of Forest Green Rovers having issues and then it was problems in the County camp that led to the midweek trip to Leyton Orient being pushed back to 2022.

Rowberry’s men are scheduled to return to action on New Year’s Day at Walsall, although that relies on both clubs being in a position to field teams.

Squads are stretched and that is likely to have an impact on the transfer market, with clubs at all levels now having to prepare for fixture congestion in the second half of the campaign.

Ensuring that they have cover is now a factor for bosses higher up the pyramid, who may be reluctant to let prospects go out for experience elsewhere.

County have four players on loan and the indications are that they will remain at Rodney Parade.

South Wales Argus: INFLUENTIAL: Finn Azaz has been a hit in the County midfieldINFLUENTIAL: Finn Azaz has been a hit in the County midfield

The chances of midfielders Finn Azaz and Jake Cain being thrown into Premier League action with Aston Villa and Liverpool respectively appear to be slim while Fulham are unlikely to want forward Timmy Abraham for their Championship promotion push.

The future of Ollie Cooper is nervier. The attacking midfielder wants to stay in Newport and Swansea will be pleased with his development, but he appears closer to action at his parent club than the other loanees.

The 22-year-old is joint top of the League Two assists chart with eight and he has created 19 chances in 17 fixtures, while he also scored his first goal in senior football against Scunthorpe in October.

Cooper could provide another attacking option for the Swans, although he would be keen to avoid a repeat of last season when he was often involved with the first team but was limited to cameos in the run-in.

County have four players in on loan and one player out – striker Padraig Amond at League Two rivals Exeter City.

Boss Rowberry has held talks with the Irishman and, as things stand, he is set to stay in Devon rather than be recalled in January.

South Wales Argus: SWITCH: Padraig Amond in action for ExeterSWITCH: Padraig Amond in action for Exeter

Grecians manager Matt Taylor spoke about the future of Amond and Sheffield Wednesday’s Cameron Dawson and Bristol City’s Owura Edwards to DevonLive.

“All indications are that they will be ours from January onwards,” he said. “But the situation is evolving and changing every day.

“Clubs may have Covid outbreaks or an injury crisis in a certain position so I can never give a concrete answer, but the contracted group will be available and we hope the loanees will be.”

The first change of the Rowberry era happened earlier this month when midfielder Christopher Missilou was released.

The 29-year-old made eight appearances with just four of them in League Two, two as a starter, and was well down the pecking order.