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Cotterill wants to add more firepower to City's survival bid

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: January 16, 2014

By ANDY STOCKHAUSEN

Bristol City manager Steve Cotterill wants to sign a goalscorer

Bristol City manager Steve Cotterill wants to sign a goalscorer

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Steve Cotterill has made the signing of a goalscoring front man a priority in his quest to keep Bristol City in League One.

Although Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and Sam Baldock have netted 30 goals between them this season, the City manager believes more firepower is needed if the threat of the drop is to be averted.

It is the chances that are not being taken that concerns Cotteriil, who tried to sign Nouha Dicko from Wigan last week.

City made at least one bid for the French striker and were in direct competition with League One rivals Wolves for his signature.

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In the end, Dicko opted for a promotion bid rather than a relegation battle, signing for Wolves on Monday.

But there has been no let up in the search for a forward and City's manager is expected to announce another new arrival ahead of Saturday's home game against MK Dons.

He has already recruited experienced target-man Tyrone Barnett on loan from Peterborough until the end of the season, with a view to the deal becoming permanent if the 28-year-old impresses.

But the recent departures of Ryan Taylor and Marlon Harewood, who have joined Portsmouth and Hartlepool respectively, leaves the City manager with just three strikers at his disposal.

His pursuit of Dicko suggests he is looking to add a quick forward with an eye for goal to create competition for the first-choice pairing of Baldock and Emmanuel-Thomas. Cotterill's quest for another forward is motivated by more than the simple need to add numbers to a squad that remains under-staffed in certain key areas.

Although he will not point the finger of blame publicly, the manager is concerned at the number of opportunities being squandered and is seeking an improved goals-to-chances ratio as City battle to move clear of the bottom four.

Cotterill has worked hard to improve Baldock and Emmanuel-Thomas's partnership on the training ground and the pair have at least been operating further up the pitch and in closer attendance in recent weeks.

Yet, the former Cheltenham Town boss feels more attacking options are needed if City are to convert a higher percentage of goalscoring opportunities between now and the end of the season.

He admitted his team needed to develop a ruthless streak after watching Baldock and Bobby Reid miss clear-cut chances in Tuesday night's 2-0 FA Cup third-round replay defeat against Watford at Vicarage Road.

Having had eight games in which to assess the players he inherited from previous head coach Sean O'Driscoll, Cotterill is now working around the clock in a bid to strengthen his squad.

Tickets are now on sale for City's visit to Wolves on Saturday, January 25, which will go ahead as scheduled now that the Robins are out of the FA Cup.

The match is all-ticket for away supporters and City have been handed an initial allocation of 1,267 seats in the Steve Bull lower tier.

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