Appy set to strike before Royals clash

Pompey manager Michael Appleton. Picture: Robin Jones
Pompey manager Michael Appleton. Picture: Robin Jones
Oli Hawkins. Picture: Joe Pepler

Hawkins prompts Pompey transfer rethink

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Michael Appleton is targeting the recruitment of a loan striker within the next 24 hours.

Liam Lawrence’s departure for Cardiff on Friday means the Blues are allowed to bring in a replacement on emergency loan.

Appleton is desperate to add goals to a team which has scored only twice in the past six matches.

One of those was a Greg Halford penalty in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat to Middlesbrough.

As a result, the Blues boss has identified a forward he believes will arrive before tomorrow’s trip to Reading.

He said: ‘I just want to make sure I stay on my toes and, if players are going to leave, have back ups to come in.

‘It’s difficult because nobody wants to get rid of their better players in the emergency loan window.

‘But I have got a couple, we will be speaking to them and hopefully I can get one here before tomorrow.

‘I think we are okay defensively but between the midfield and front line the one thing we are missing is goals.

‘If we can try to get us goals in the team then obviously it is going to give us a chance to win games.

‘Luke (Varney) can play a big part in that as well but if we can get someone else in who can grab a few goals that would be great.’

The Blues’ financial woes, however, ensure some clubs will be reticent about dealing with them.

Appleton added: ‘Probably, some clubs won’t do business with us.

‘Their concern will be financial and whether we can actually pay for the players who are coming out of their club.

‘I can understand that in a way.’