WANDERERS have stepped up their search for a striker – but Phil Parkinson warns they won’t be able to do it on the cheap.

The Bolton boss wants at least one front man through the door before Thursday’s deadline as a replacement for Christian Doidge.

Incredibly, the club hasn’t completely given up on bringing Doidge back to the North West despite the highly-publicised collapse of his move from Forest Green Rovers.

It is more likely, however, that Wanderers will need to look elsewhere – and Parkinson hopes Ken Anderson will have to push the boat out financially to bring in a player who can make a difference in the survival fight.

“We have got to work towards that this week,” said the Wanderers boss. “The chairman has made some calls to other chairmen and we need to be very proactive in the next seven days, if we can.

“We have lost Doidgey and we said as a staff that the worst scenario is coming out of this window as we were. That’s the worst scenario. But hopefully we can improve the squad.

“It isn’t easy, especially with strikers, they are so tough to get and nobody wants to let them go. But sometimes you have got to pay over the odds, either in wages or transfer fees to try and get that right player.”

Wanderers promoted midfielders Joe Pritchard and Luca Connell from their youth ranks recently, both making their full debuts against Bristol City in the FA Cup on Friday night.

Parkinson admits he does not yet have a striker who is ready to make the same step up – and says he will not be throwing in young players who are not ready for Championship football.

“There isn’t really a striker emerging at this moment,” he said. “I have always said about young players the supporters wouldn’t want me to throw one in as a token gesture, it has got to be someone we believe is good enough to handle this Championship division.

“Now, Luca and Pritch have trained with us for quite a while. Pritch has got better and better and would have had his debut in the previous round of the cup but because of the embargo we couldn’t play him.

“Luca has trained with us more and more, stepped up from the Under-18s to the 23s and we felt he was ready for his chance.

“Young players have got to be ready. You don’t just pluck someone out and throw them in.

“This is a physically demanding league and those two have shown us in training that they can handle the standard of training and the division. I thought they were immense, I was so pleased for them.”