28th Jun, 2022

Russell Slade takes a look at new attacking targets as Yakubu edges closer to Sky Blues switch

Steve Carpenter 9th Feb, 2017 Updated: 10th Feb, 2017

FOOTBALL: SKY Blues boss Russell Slade stepped up his search to add more firepower to his forward line this week as he takes a look at three potential targets with much-needed ‘pedigree’ in front of goal.

As reported earlier in the week, one of those target remains former Premier League striker Yakubu who completed a full training session today (Thursday) along with recent loan signing Michael Folivi from Watford.

It is understood that a deal for Yakubu is edging closer although any move is unlikely to be completed ahead of Saturday’s trip to Oldham.

Slade said: “It’s no secret that we’re taking a look at him and nothing has happened yet but there could be something there if the finances are right.

“He’s not the player he was three or four years ago when he was playing in the Premier League – he’s not that young anymore. However he’s still got that awareness in front of goal.

“As you get older you lose that yard of pace and you can see that but you know he’ll be in the right place when that ball comes into the box. He’s one of a couple we’re eyeing up.”

Slade also confirmed that he is taking a look at three other players this week, all with Premier League experience, and is also keeping tabs on Navid Nasseri.

“They are all players with very good pedigree who will also give us some experience.

“I’m still looking to see what is out there and how we can improve the team but I think everyone knows what are we need to improve on. We need to bring in players that can score goals and my priority is a striker and another wide player as well.”

There was good news this week for the Sky Blues after Slade confirmed that striker Charles Vernam’ shoulder injury is not as bad as first feared.

The highly-rated 20-year-old, on loan from Derby, injured his shoulder in training and returned to his parent club last week.

But he does not need an operation and is expected to play a big part in the Sky Blues’ battle against the drop.

“He popped his shoulder. Initially it looked as though he might need to have an operation which could have kept him out for anything between eight to 12 weeks, but we’re now looking at more like three which is good news.

“He’s a striker who’s had to drop into midfield on his debut but he will be a big boost for us when he returns.”

One current player who Slade feels can make a difference off the back of his impressive performance in the Checkatrade Trophy against Wycombe in mid-week is George Thomas.

The 19-year-old scored a wonderful second goal for the Sky Blues to set Slade’s side on their way to Wembley and the City boss feels that finish will be a big confidence boost for the academy star.

“George always works tirelessly for the team and he’s starting to get recognition for that now. He’s got goals in him ball he’s a ball carrier too and he’s starting to do that effectively.

“I think he can score more goals and I’m confident he has a big part to play for this football club.”

Reflecting back on Wednesday, Slade is still overwhelmed by the support of the Sky Blues Army and he feels without their ’12th’ man, the team may not be looking forward to a trip to Wembley on April 2.

He added: “The fans were so loud and absolutely brilliant. I think they got us over the line because it was so loud.

“When their big man Adebayo Akinfenwa came on he was causing our young back line all sorts of problems. He was like a battering ram, but the crowd responded and so did the team.

“I went home to my wife and I told her that’s why ‘I came to manage this football club’. It was magnificent. It was the most vocal I’ve ever known and I’ve managed at some loud stadiums!

“It was an inexperienced side and we can only hope now that it feeds the players with confidence, because belief will get us a long way.”

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