Proudlock's injury woe

JOE Royle's need to strengthen his strike force intensified today when Adam Proudlock suffered a reaction to his five minutes of substitute action at Stoke City.

By Elvin King

JOE Royle's need to strengthen his strike force intensified today when Adam Proudlock suffered a reaction to his five minutes of substitute action at Stoke City.

The Ipswich Town manager currently looks like having just Danny Haynes available to him up front for the home FA Cup third round tie with Premiership Portsmouth on Saturday.

“I am talking to the representatives of two international strikers and hope to be able to take at least one on loan by the weekend,” said Royle.

“At this stage I am confident something will come from the discussions, and it would be a boost to have extra strikers in the club.

“We earned rave reports at Stoke, and I have been pleased with the way we performed over the holiday period.

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“What we do need however is to put the ball in the net more often, and we are working on that.”

Apart from Proudlock, who aggravated his knee injury on Monday at the Britannia Stadium, Royle has Dean McDonald cup-tied after the 19-year-old played in the second round while on loan at Hartlepool.

Sam Parkin is a long-term casualty while fellow strikers Nicky Forster (knee) and Dean Bowditch (hip) are doubtful to be fit in time to face Pompey.

Youngsters Billy Clarke and Darryl Knights are also on the treatment table, but Haynes should be fit after missing out at Stoke at the 11th hour with a knee knock.

Proudlock has signed a full contract until the end of the season after officially being on loan from Sheffield Wednesday until December 31, while midfielder Gavin Williams completed his £300,000 signing from West Ham.

Royle said: “Gavin gives us balance on the right and he can also play in other midfield positions. He did very well at Stoke and I am sure he will prove to be a big asset.”

Ipswich re-arranged a reserve game at Arsenal's training ground this afternoon and it was hoped Vemund Skard might make his Town debut, but the Norwegian is not quite ready yet after his pre-Christmas hernia operation.

Royle said: “We arranged the game with a view to giving trialists a game, but at the moment we are concentrating our efforts on bringing in the two front runners.”

A re-structuring of their money situation at the club this week will give Royle more cash with which to work.

A left back might not be such a priority now after Scott Barron's impressive league debut at Stoke.

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