WANDERERS could be down to one fit striker for tomorrow’s cup clash with Cardiff – but Dougie Freedman is certainly not fretting over a lack of firepower.
Depending on the outcome of Swansea City’s negotiations to take David Ngog on a season-long loan, Craig Davies could be the last out-and-out experienced front man available for the fourth round tie.
Freedman was still factoring Ngog into his plans for the game yesterday but the Frenchman trained as normal at Euxton knowing last weekend’s debacle at Reading could be his last game for the club.
There has been some good news with Andre Moritz returning to full duties – but at the back, Freedman clearly still has concerns over a fatigued and below-par defence that shipped seven goals in their last game.
So while Ngog’s move could free up cash for him to bolster his back line, his potential absence was not a concern for the Wanderers boss.
“As I speak, David will be involved,” he said. “It’s certainly a possibility I’ll have to do without him.
But I have been here too many times – both incoming and outgoing – to regard it as anything else but talk.
“It would leave me short of strikers with Jermaine (Beckford) out but at least we’ve got Andre back today, so he’ll be available for the game.
“If David decides that’s where he is going to play his football then we’ll have to change things round. I’m okay with that.
“It’s defensively where we’ve been short for the last four or five games.
That’s where we need to strengthen right now.
“The back four have been playing week-in, week-out for the whole Christmas period so they need a little help.”
Swansea have offered to take on the former Liverpool striker – one of the squad’s highest earners – in a deal that would see him loaned for the rest of the season before making the move a permanent one in the summer.
It would represent a huge boost for Freedman’s recruitment efforts, which ground to a halt this week as he struggled to land Sunderland striker Danny Graham or young Luxembourg international Yannick Bastos.
Freedman hinted at his frustration yesterday but was optimistic that next week should see some movement on the transfer front.
“We’re trying to do a few things but the timing, and the FA Cup, all sorts of things are getting in the way at the moment,” he said.
“It’s a case of getting through the game and looking to recruit at the back end of next week.
“Of course, moving players on would make it easier to bring them in but the real problem is the Financial Fair Play. We can service the debt but you have to make sure you play by the rules.”