Nottingham Forest: McLeish stepping up his search for a new striker and goalkeeper
ALEX McLeish will step up his search for a new striker, as well as a new goalkeeper, at Nottingham Forest this week.
The Reds boss will continue his quest to sign an experienced stopper – but believes it is equally important to add more firepower to his City Ground frontline, after a thigh injury picked up by Dexter Blackstock exposed the lack of depth in his squad.
After telling Lee Camp he has no future at the club, the Reds boss handed a debut to rookie stopper Karl Darlow on Saturday and the 22-year-old responded with a solid, confident display amid a 2-1 win over Peterborough.
And it proved to be a lack of cover for his front men that was a bigger concern for McLeish, after Blackstock sustained a problem in training, forcing him to include Matt Derbyshire – who has been told he is free to leave the club in January – on the bench.
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"With big Dexter out injured, we only have two strikers, really, in Sharp and Coxy," said McLeish. "Matt Derbyshire is still in the squad, but it is not easy for Matt or for me when I say to him 'you are not in my plans' then ask him to be on the bench.
"While he is still a Forest player, he might have a role to play. He has a great attitude, to be fair.
"But we do need to make additions. It is not about numbers, it is about quality. Two or three could be enough to enhance the squad. It depends on positions, that is what matters.
"And we are looking at a goalkeeper, winger and attacker – we are a bit light in the attack.
"Dexter was still getting twinges when he was trying to kick the ball. Dexter knows his body. He will know that an injury like that is going to curtail his mobility on the pitch.
"So it was a big shift for Coxy and Sharp to put in. They did very well at times.
"But I do think we can get sharper. I do think we can get a little bit fitter and a little bit sharper at this club."
McLeish revealed he has also told Robbie Findley he is free to go – with the striker likely to return home to America. But the manager added he is close to making further additions.
"One or two strikers will be leaving the club and Robbie is one of those, one or two things have been done with him so that he is free to move away from Forest," he said. "I think America is the most likely option for him, that is where the smart money is.
"We have a long list of potential targets and, while we have had one or two opportunities to do things, we want to make sure we get things right.
"We have plenty of options in mind and I am not just talking about keepers.
"If we want to have a crack at the play-offs, we need to reinforce the team; we need to add.
"I want to help the guys who are here to have a big push at this. We need to improve and I am sure new players will help us to do that.
"Some may take until the end of the window to get done. We have sewn a few seeds but some deals will drag on, I would expect until the end of the window."