Hatters linked with Gateshead striker

HATTERS manager Gary Brabin has reiterated his increasing desire to bring in a striker before the end of the transfer deadline, writes Mike Simmonds.

Thursday, 18th August 2011, 8:30 am

The boss saw his side held at home by Forest Green Rovers in midweek as their lack of a proven goalscorer became all the more apparent.

Speaking after the game, Brabin said: “I’ve made no secret of the fact that we want someone who’s going to put the ball in the back of the net.

“The hardest part of my job is finding a quality goalscorer.

“That’s what we’re after, that’s top of my agenda.

“I think we’re playing some great stuff, but we just need someone who’s a bit more ruthless in the box.

“Unfortunately, there were none on free transfers in the summer and we’ve actively been trying to get one in.

“There’s been a lot of knock backs as people just don’t want to let them go.

“Maybe it’s the quality we’re after, but I think a club like this should be able to attract players and there’s certainly interest from players to come.

“But people are putting prices on player’s head, or just refusing point blank to let them go.”

Brabin has confirmed bids have been placed for Forest Green striker Reece Styche and Oxford forward James Constable, while Gateshead frontman Jon Shaw appears to be on his wishlist too.

The 27-year-old scored 17 goals last season, including one against Luton, and has netted two in two so far this campaign.

Heed boss Ian Bogie said: “We’ve had interest from Luton Town, they’ve made an offer for him. Jon’s head was turned but we’ve rejected that bid.

“We don’t want to lose Jon, we’ve made our intentions clear.

“We want to keep him here, and until we get an adequate replacement who I think will fill Jon Shaw’s boots in terms of what he brings to our team, he’ll be staying at Gateshead. It’s as simple as that.

“Luton are interested, they’re one of the big boys in the league.

“Jon’s one of the best we’ve got so I’ll be working hard to keep him and the chairman (Graham Wood) wants to keep him here.”

Hatters chief Brabin was keeping tight-lipped on any potential targets though, as he said: “We try and do our business professionally, we don’t try and disturb anyone or cause any unrest.

“I think the bids that have come out publically have come out from the other end, nothing that we’ve done.”

Whoever Brabin eventually plumps for will enjoy great delivery from the flanks with James Dance impressing on his debut, while Robbie Willmott showcased his undoubted talents when coming off the bench in the second half.

The boss said: “We have the food and drink for someone who is hungry in the box.

“That’s what we’re after, someone who’s going to break their neck to get on the end of them (crosses).

“I think a top goalscorer would thrive on the ammunition that we’re throwing in the box.

“We’ve got some good forwards at the club, but it would complement them more if we had someone who was a bit more hungry in the box.”