POOL are optimistic the Premier League will give them the go-ahead today to sign a goalkeeper.
Richard Kingson is the only fit keeper on the club’s books, after Paul Rachubka suffered a fresh knee cartilage injury in training which will almost certainly rule him out for the rest of the season.
Broken kneecap victim Matt Gilks won’t be back until the start of April and Mark Halstead, who is on loan at Kettering, has a serious injury as well.
A worried Ian Holloway has even checked if any of his outfield players can provide cover for Kingson tomorrow.
“James Beattie reckons he’s not bad in goal,” said Holloway. “Chris Basham claimed he’s pretty handy too, but he’s not played for a couple of months so he probably just wants a game!”
Pool have drawn up a list of targets and – provided the Premier League give permission for them to make an emergency signing outside of the transfer window – will attempt to bring one in ahead of tomorrow’s home clash with Aston Villa.
“Hopefully the powers that be will let us to do it,” said Holloway. “If another team had only one keeper I’d say, ‘Get another one’. Otherwise it would be a lottery and I’m sure other managers wouldn’t want that.
“It would be like booking an engineer to do a job, then being told he was ill but you weren’t allowed to send for another. In what other walk of life would that happen?”
As for Rachubka, it is a devastating personal blow. The 29-year-old started his first game in a year at Everton last weekend, having missed the first half of the campaign with cruciate damage to the same knee.
“Paul’s chin is on the floor. It’s the worst thing in the world for him,” said Holloway.
“It is the same thing that happened just a week into the season. “
FOR MORE ON THIS STORY SEE FRIDAY’S GAZETTE.