Striker hunt on hold over injury scare

Pompey defender Gabor Gyepes
Pompey defender Gabor Gyepes
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Gabor Gyepes’ ankle injury could scupper Pompey’s plans for a new striker.

With the injured Paul Connolly now back at Leeds, Blues boss Michael Appleton was looking to fill his loan space in the squad with a new forward.

But Gyepes – whose Pompey debut was cut short through injury at Crawley – is now expected to be ruled out for several weeks.

That means Appleton could be forced to take another central defender on loan rather than a much-needed striker.

Appleton said: ‘We’re waiting on the scan results for Gabor.

‘But it worried me that he was struggling to even put any weight on it after the game.

‘He was in a lot of pain.

‘Ideally, I would have liked to have brought a striker in with that loan space but it looks like I will have to see if there is a viable centre-back out there.’

The powerful Hungarian defender looked a very useful addition for Pompey until he hobbled off in the first half at Crawley.

‘He was such a calming influence on the pitch for 40 minutes,’ said Appleton.

‘He was heading things out and organising it back there.

‘My concern is that I don’t want to bring in another young player. I want an experienced player.

‘I think Kevin (Long) and Josh (Thompson) are better with an experienced player alongside them.’

While Appleton has possible loan options, he has not ruled out making another tough call if he is forced to make room in his squad.

He said: ‘We’ve got two or three players that we have enquired about.

‘But it might cost someone a place in the squad, as we did with Kieron Djilali.

‘I didn’t enjoy doing it but you’ve got to do it as the manager.

‘You’ve got to disappoint people and hurt people but we might have to do that again.’