LEE CLARK hasn’t ruled out bringing in a replacement for injured top scorer Jordan Rhodes – but says any signing must be of the right character and be able to go straight into the side.
The 16-goal striker faces at least a month on the sidelines after damaging ankle ligaments during Saturday’s 0-0 home draw with Colchester.
Rhodes, 20, was injured when shooting in the 37th minute, and after being taken off on a stretcher, headed straight to hospital for an x-ray.
“Thankfully there is no fracture, but he has suffered serious ligament damage, which is very disappointing,” said Clark.
“You always worry when a player goes down unchallenged and it looks like his leg wasn’t set or that he rolled his ankle when taking the shot.”
On a possible new signing, the manager added: “Things are changing constantly and myself and the board are in constant dialogue.
“They have backed me 100%, and they’re not saying we can’t do anything, but I don’t want to bring in players just to keep the numbers up.
“They would have to be the right kind of character to fit in with the group and be able to go straight into the side. There are a lot of players out there and while we are always looking to improve the squad, it can be difficult to find the right one. Dipping into the marketplace isn’t always the answer.”
On the positive side, toe-injury victim Gary Naysmith took part in the pre-match warm-up and is in line to return to full training. And his fellow left-back, on-loan Newcastle player Tamas Kadar, has responded well to treatment on a hamstring at St James’ Park and could rejoin Town soon.
“Gary has been running again and came through the warm-up without any pain while Newcastle say Tamas’s problem is more to do with the nerves in his back than a tear,” said Clark.
“We won’t jump the gun with either of them, but they are both heading in the right direction, and that’s great.”
With a third left-back, teenager Liam Ridehalgh, ruled out by glandular fever, Clark played on-loan Hull star Kevin Kilbane in the position against Colchester.
“I can’t speak highly enough of the guy,” continued the boss. “He’s a class act and he had no problems playing there.”