POOL won’t be bringing Liverpool defender Danny Wilson to Bloomfield Road – but they have snapped up Lomana LuaLua.
The 30-year-old striker has signed until the end of the season and travelled to London with his new team-mates today ahead of the Upton Park showdown.
Ian Holloway wants to name the frontman in his 16-man squad but that depends on whether he gets international clearance in time for the game.
“LuaLua will be on the coach and I’m excited and pleased he has signed for us because I think he’s a good player,” said the boss.
“He has pace and an eye for goal and he’s showed that over the last fortnight he’s been training with us.
“Whether he’ll be involved tomorrow or not is up in the air because we need clearance and so far we haven’t got it.”
But Wilson, the Liverpool teenager who has been heavily linked with the Tangerines, is unlikely to arrive.
“At the minute my squad is taking shape, I’m working with people, and I don’t think at this moment in time I’ll be adding Wilson,” said the boss.
Holloway’s immediate priority is trying to beat West Ham, a task made harder by injuries to key defenders. Both Craig Cathcart and Alex Baptiste are struggling with knee injuries and will have late fitness tests. Stephen Crainey, though, has overcome an ankle problem and will start.
The boss used his pre-match press conference to spell out how difficult it is going to be to finish in a play-off position this season – and he once again preached the importance of sticking together.
“We want to achieve the impossible again. But this division is as tough as it’s ever been,” Holloway said.
“You wait and see by the end of the season. Leicester and West Ham are undoubted favourites because of what they are offering people.
“Does that make you the best? I hope for their sakes it does, but we believe it won’t be down to that – it will be spirit, commitment, hunger, a system, and everybody buying into it.
“And when I say everybody, I mean everybody.
“Every one of the crowd helping these boys get there and do it.
“I’m a little bit concerned about that to be honest.
“After Gary Taylor-Fletcher scored his goal against Bristol City in our last game, he was saying ‘shut up’ to someone in the crowd. I wonder what he was saying ‘shut up’ about? Now if that was to someone in the crowd who had criticised Gary Taylor-Fletcher, I don’t think that is right.
“We’ve all got a job to do.
“We had a great period in our history, which was the year before this. Now we’re trying to carry it on and it isn’t easy.
“The fans are fantastic. I think a little bunch of them should shut up if I can say that.
“Putting things around the ground (posters of Oyston and a swag-bag containing £90m), I don’t think that is helping. My chairman is stubborn and it is not going to help me long-term.
“You are not helping the club. He won’t go. He’d rather get rid of you. So try and help me and encourage my team.
“When we’ve got a game as tough as West Ham away, we need all the encouragement we can get.”