MICHAEL Cook has tapped into Southampton academy manager Ellis Wilmot’s brain with the idea of attracting a young Premier League starlet to Hardenhuish Park ahead of this weekend’s visit of Dartford.

Cook also has prospects from Bristol Rovers and Exeter City on his radar – though any deals must be completed by the end of the week owing to the deadline imposed on clubs in tiers one to four.

The news will undoubtedly encourage Bluebirds fans ahead of Saturday’s crunch tie against a Dartford team hopeful of winning promotion into non-league’s highest tier come late spring.

One player that won’t feature this weekend, though, is Nat Jarvis – who has been ruled out for at least a week with a hamstring injury.

Cook said: “We’re hedging our bets with those three young targets because there is a deadline for Football League clubs.

“We’ve got until March 31, but Premier League teams can’t send their players out after this week’s deadline passes.

“I’ve spoken to Ellis Willmott - Southampton’s head of recruitment – who has been very helpful. But they don’t want to do things until the last minute.”

Meanwhile, Cook knows his role at Town will not be for the long term unless he can save the club from relegation to the Southern League by April.

The Bluebirds slipped into National League South’s relegation frame earlier this month when a draw with Dulwich Hamlet was bettered by lower teams Welling United, Tonbridge Angels and St Albans City.

Chippenham’s draw with Havant & Waterlooville on Saturday ensured Cook is still to be defeated as the club’s new manager after two games.

But the 51-year-old will ultimately have to steer the club away from its current position if he is to remain in charge at Hardenhuish Park by the end of the season.

It’s a challenge he is relishing, and Cook has been encouraged by club chairman Neil Blackmore’s honesty regarding Bluebirds’ precious situation.

He said: “This won’t be a long-term project until we save the club from relegation. I don’t mind that because Neil (Blackmore) has been honest with me.

“If we can stay up, great. And if not, we’ll part company. But I want to impress them, I want to do a good job.

“We’ve got some great players that just need a bit of fine tuning.”