Lambert on the chances of signing Keane, the decision to sell Harrison and his striker search
PUBLISHED: 15:11 02 August 2019 | UPDATED: 15:35 02 August 2019
Paul Lambert has downplayed the chances of turning to former loanee Will Keane as he continues his search for a striker.
The Town boss currently has James Norwood and Kayden Jackson as his frontline forwards, following the sale of Ellis Harrison to Portsmouth, but is in the market for a third striker this summer.
A loan move for Millwall's Tom Elliott has fallen through, with the striker undergoing a medical earlier this week but not recovering significantly enough from a hamstring injury for the Blues to complete the deal.
Keane remains a free agent after leaving Hull at the end of last season but, given his time at Ipswich ended with a hamstring injury, Lambert is reluctant to pursue a move for the man who impressed during his stay at Portman Road.
"Will did really well here but he suffered a bad injury with his hamstring," Lambert said.
"I don't know what he's been doing in terms of training, whether he's been with a team or has been training on his own, but you can't compare the two.
"You will never get your fitness back if you're just training on your own. So even if we did sign Will it would take a number of weeks to get him up to speed, maybe into September and missing eight or nine games.
"The likelihood would be no."
When asked if he had any regrets after selling Harrison to Portsmouth for £450,000, Lambert said: "Ellis had to go and I think that was important.
"I don't want to keep somebody here who wanted to go or maybe found himself down the pecking order. You don't want that to happen.
"Norwood has come in and has been unbelievable for us and Jackson has been playing well, scoring goals. Idris is stepping up, too.
"There are options there but we still need a little bit of help.
"Everybody had a clean slate at the start of the season and it's about who performs."
The Town boss then went on to suggest the entire fee Town received for Harrison will be heading to Bristol Rovers, who sold the Welshman to Ipswich for £750,000 a little over a year ago.
That deal is likely to have been structured with payments made over several months, with Lambert's comments suggesting the fee received for Harrison is likely to be used to pay the remaining balance on the original deal to sign the striker.