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Reds hunt big striker

By Doug O'Kane, Sports Editor Friday 15th August 2014
Jean-Yves M'Voto.
Danny Wilson is hoping to bring in a physically imposing 'target man' striker.

Although he said his squad was complete after the addition of Leroy Lita on Saturday, the Reds manager has now changed his mind following defeats in the first two games of the season and admits his side lack size and strength up front.

Wilson says he wants to bring someone in 'soon' and has several experienced targets in mind.

"We are looking for a big man to play up front," Wilson told the Chronicle.

"We will have to see who is available because there are not many of that type of player around and all clubs are looking for them. But we've seen this week that there are some big defenders in League One and it's clear to see that we need that physicality up front. We are always looking to strengthen every position but up front is the priority at this moment in time."

The manager put Lewin Nyatanga up front towards the end of the league loss to Crawley on Saturday then brought another centre-back, Jean Yves M'voto, on as a striker with 15 minutes left of Tuesday's League Cup defeat to Crewe Alexandra. Frenchman M'voto created a couple of chances on Tuesday but Wilson says he is only a short-term solution.

"Big Jean has played there before and he's a big unit," said the Reds boss. "I thought he did quite well against Crewe and we've always got that option. "But I don't want to rely on him for that all season. I don't think he's the answer in an ideal world."

Rhys Oates is the only striker currently at Oakwell who fits the bill as a tall targetman but, while the 19-year-old is seen as a good future prospect, he is not deemed ready for League One and could be loaned out later this season with Alfreton a possible destination.

Another who might be loaned out is 20-year-old Danny Rose who started on Saturday then was dropped for Tuesday. Former Reds manager David Flitcroft is keen to get Rose back on loan at Bury in League Two but any deal is unlikely to be struck this month.

Leroy Lita came in for Rose on Tuesday and is still lacking match practice while fellow new signing Kane Hemmings is recovering from injury but expected to play for the under 21s on Monday.

Sam Winnall, a summer signing from Scunthorpe, has played both games so far and 18-year-old Nana Boakye-Yiadom has come off the bench twice.

Wilson has bemoaned his side's lack of goals since taking over for a second time in December and a brace by Chris O'Grady – last season's top-scorer who has since moved to Brighton – against QPR in May, are the only goals they have scored during a run of eight winless home matches. Wilson said: "Crewe took their chances on Tuesday and we didn't. "I lost count of how many chances we had. We've got to start putting them away."