Striker seach goes on after Lee blow

WITH Alan Lee ruled out for at least three weeks with a hamstring tear, Blues boss Joe Royle last night moved to bring in an experienced striker from abroad.

By Derek Davis

WITH Alan Lee ruled out for at least three weeks with a hamstring tear, Blues boss Joe Royle last night moved to bring in an experienced striker from abroad.

The trialist is today expected to be confirmed as Henri Kanu, an African who has plied his trade in Greece and Germany and who was recommended to the club by former star Colin Viljoen.

The South African, who played more than 300 games for Ipswich, spotted the player on the continent and was due to bring him to training today from their London base.


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Royle is also still hopeful of bringing in a loan target, although he concedes it may not be in time for Saturday's Championship clash at Wolves.

He said: “The lad I'm after may still be available and it is bubbling along, although time and circumstances make it unlikely to happen before the weekend.

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“We have a trialist coming in who we will take a look at. He has been recommended to us by a friend, he is on the doorstep and as I understand it he would be free to sign if needed.”

Royle has been tracking his target for some time and the need for an experienced goal-getter became more urgent when Lee, who has netted four goals in six games, was found to have a small tear in a hamstring that will rule him out of action for at least three weeks.

Dean McDonald will start at Molineux, with Darren Currie likely to be pushed up once more and Jaime Peters could be given a start. Fabian Wilnis is very doubtful with bruised ribs so Richard Naylor's presence will be required in the back line rather than up front.

Owen Garvan returns after a one-match ban in midfield and Gavin Williams is fighting to be fit after nasty bruising and gashes on both legs, compounding a knee injury.

Jim Magilton is also available despite playing two games in two days already this week.

The Irishman started in last night's reserve game with Crystal Palace, 24 hours after playing for half an hour in the 2-1 win at Crewe.

Royle insisted Magilton was part of his plans and the reserve game was the club skipper's idea.

He said: “I would not have picked Jim for the reserves but he wanted to play because he felt he wanted more match fitness. He did very well when he came on at Crewe and I was happy with him but he wanted to play last night.”

Royle admitted his captain's role was becoming limited as both men expected at the beginning of the season. He said: “I see Jim more and more as a top-class substitute to bring on and help us win the game or kill it off when we are ahead.”

The Blues manager was last night in Oldham helping with their fund-raising efforts involving players from the Latics' Wembley Cup final match against Nottingham Forest in 1990, which he managed.

Blues keeper Lewis Price has been named in the Wales squad to play Paraguay in a friendly next month.

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