Portsmouth boss' position on having no strikers as he's linked with Tottenham Hotspur, Swansea City and Barnsley front men

DANNY COWLEY believes a blank striking canvas can be a positive as he breaks new ground.

At present, the Blues have no senior frontmen contracted to the club – following Tyler Walker and George Hirst’s loans ending while Aiden O’Brien’s future remains uncertain.

This leaves third-year scholar Dan Gifford as his only option as pre-season kicked-off on Monday – which represented the first time in his 15-year management career where he had no strikers on the first day of summer training.

As a result, the Fratton chief admitted the current recruitment drive is behind where he wants it to be.

Although over 20 players have been linked with a move to the south coast since the end of last season, supporters are still waiting to see a new signing unveiled.

This has been a source of frustration for many fans, as they’re desperate to see some fresh blood injected into the side.

Despite this, Cowley is relishing the challenge of finding solutions to the current dearth of attacking options.

He told The News: ‘We’re a little further in front this time around, but we’re still a little short of where we want to be.

Danny Cowley has reiterated that Pompey’s hard work is continuing behind the scenes to sign players this summer. Picture: Robin Jones

‘I think it’s probably the first pre-season in 15-years as a manager where I’ve gone into pre-season without a recognised centre-forward in the building, so we definitely have some work to do in that area.

‘We’ve worked hard in the club, and we’re clear on the targets that we have and they’re working really hard to make those targets a reality.

‘We’re obviously keeping our cards close to our chests in terms of names, but it’s obvious we need to try to find the right complement of forwards.

‘This time last year we had forwards, and this year we are in a really good position in the respect that we have a blank canvas and we can add in that area.’

Even with Cowley’s recruitment admission – he’s adamant the club are further forward in the process compared to last summer.

And he explained why preparation has been undertaken well in advance ahead of this transfer window.

Pompey’s boss added: ‘We would like to do our business as soon as possible, because we want to develop and improve the team and the forwards are a big part of that.

‘For us we’re further forward this year in terms of recruitment then we were last year.

‘We only took the job on a full-time basis in early to mid May and hadn’t done as much recruitment work then as we have done this year.’