Striker hopes looking slim

IPSWICH Town have made a cash bid to sign Gavin Williams from West Ham - but Joe Royle's hopes of landing a striker in the next couple of weeks are looking slim.

By Derek Davis

IPSWICH Town have made a cash bid to sign Gavin Williams from West Ham - but Joe Royle's hopes of landing a striker in the next couple of weeks are looking slim.

After seeing his shot-shy strikeforce fail to trouble Crystal Palace Royle admitted he desperately wants to find someone to support Nicky Forster, his only fit striker - but he is drawing a blank.

The Blues boss said: “At the moment we are hitting brick walls. Everyone wants front players and we have asked but at the moment there is no real opportunity to bring one in.”

A raft of hopefuls are expected at Portman Road next week as Town try to uncover another gem and Royle is also hoping to get former Wolves and Sheffield Wednesday striker Adam Proudlock available again after a knee injury.

He said: “We are looking at trialists from all over the globe but that is all we have. We are hoping that Adam Proudlock will be fit in a week or so but that is where we are.”

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What is looking promising is making Welsh international midfielder Williams a permanent fixture in the Blues squad.

Town have tabled a bid for the former Yeovil star and are hoping to hear back before the New Year.

Williams is on loan until the middle of January anyway so there is no real rush, although both parties will be keen to get the deal done.

The EADT understands Williams is keen to join the Blues and would be willing to talk personal terms if a deal is done.

Royle believes Town enjoyed long periods of domination during the defeat against Palace and was left unhappy at being denied a penalty.

He said: “I was screaming along with everyone else and we thought it was a handball. The referee was closer and didn't think so. Then 30 seconds later, in their only shot of the half, the ball ends up in our net.”

He was also unhappy at the build-up to Palace's opener, netted by Jon Macken and insisted the difference between the sides was the finishing.

Royle said: “Johnson checked one of our players for their first goal and in the second half they have had one shot and scored. Therein lies the difference.

“They have a striker in Johnson who might go for £7m in the window and another in Macken who cost £5m when he was at Manchester City.

“They have three more on the bench worth millions but we have got one striker who is fit.

“Palace are big, athletic and strong and I will be astounded if they don't finish [in the] top six by the end of the season.”

Royle explained that a lack of experienced forwards was the reason he played one up front at home.

It was a decision that prompted the North Stand to chant 'We are supposed to be at home' and 'We are not very good' before the 'Royle out' chants began. Royle said: “We don't have the firepower at the moment. We have one battle hardened striker and that is Fossie, who needs help.”

Blues keeper Lewis Price is struggling with a groin injury and faces a fitness test before being assured of a starting place at Hull City tomorrow.

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