Blackpool aim for ‘big’ January signing

Shamrock Rovers' Karl Sheppard

Shamrock Rovers' Karl Sheppard

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BLACKPOOL are scouring the transfer market for an old-fashioned centre forward.

Seasiders boss Ian Holloway believes his team is still short of a big, physical presence up front.

He felt his side were bullied in their last defeat, at Birmingham on New Year’s Eve, and he wants a player in his squad to stop that happening.

Holloway brought in Marlon Harewood, Sergei Kornilenko and James Beattie last season, but he says any new arrival this time must have pace as well as bulk.

The Pool boss has been chasing such a player since the summer, when he missed out on Newcastle frontman Nile Ranger.

Holloway explained: “The combination of our front three is such a handful, but I have to make sure I have different options and different combinations that are just as threatening to the opposition.

“I thought we got beat up at Birmingham.

“We were out-headed and we have to be able to deal with that, so I might be looking to get someone who can.

“I’m talking about a tall, big, physical player, but he has to be mobile as well. I can’t have any bloke up front who can’t run.

“We’ve got to be mobile and aggressive in the air. We’ve also got to get behind teams, like we did at Fleetwood.”

Holloway isn’t worrying too much about January recruitment – overall he is delighted with the make-up of his squad.

But after loaning Danny Wilson from Liverpool, he is targeting two or three more signings in the current window.

The club has had bids refused for Fleetwood’s Jamie Vardy and Southampton’s Jason Puncheon.

Pool were also in for Shamrock Rovers and Republic of Ireland Under-21 striker Karl Sheppard but look like losing out to Championship rivals Reading.

Sheppard, 20, scored ten goals in 24 appearances as Shamrock won the League of Ireland last season and has also caught the eye of Cardiff, Watford and Peterborough, but he is set to sign for the Royals.