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Touch and Go

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 07/09/2000

Lennie Lawrence's search for a new on-loan striker in time for Saturday's first division clash with Gillingham is still "touch and go" tonight. The new Town boss has made several enquiries, so far without success, but has not ruled out the chance that the elusive player may be found in time.

Lawrence explained tonight that it was the worst time of year to try and find players with so many fixtures in the next few weeks. With every top-flight club still in the Worthington Cup, and European fixtures for those involved, managers are reluctant to release even fringe players on loan. Lawrence's plan currently appears to be on two fronts. The first part of the plan is to obtain a new striker on loan, in a short-term measure to stop the goal drought which has been going on, in truth, for more than a season. The second part of the plan, a slightly longer-term goal, is to strengthen the overall quality of the squad, chiefly with foreign players, it would appear. The second part of the plan took a slight knockback today with news that one of the two Spaniards we revealed yesterday were on their way to Grimsby for a trial will not after all be coming to the UK. Juan Manuel Preito Velasco has instead joined Spanish side Real Betis, who have nipped in ahead of the Mariners and signed Preito in a one-year deal. Nevertheless instead of four foreign trialists Town now have three, which is far better news than most Mariners fans were probably hoping for 2 weeks ago. With more news imminent in the next few days, the signs are the the tide is slowly turning in the Mariners favour.

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