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Poyet to dip into loan market
Albion will launch a search for a loan striker today after losing top scorer Craig Mackail-Smith for the rest of the season.
He suffered a suspected ruptured Achilles in last night’s 0-0 draw at Bristol City.
It leaves the promotion-chasing Seagulls short of firepower, with Will Hoskins already out for the rest of the season with serious knee damage.
Mackail-Smith collapsed at the end of the first half after losing his footing and had to be helped off by two of the medical staff. Poyet said: “It could be a serious Achilles injury. I think he could be three months so this season is probably over. The doctor knows and he is 99.9% sure he is out for the rest of the season.
“It changes things completely. I like to have four strikers at least. We had three and now we’ve got two. I absolutely hate the loan market but I am not going to be so naive not to use it.
“We need to be lucky. We can’t pay fortunes so it will depend on help from another club as well. I am looking anywhere. We have got two or three. Maybe a month ago they were available but things change. Now we need to check and sort it out as soon as possible.”
Mackail-Smith started instead of Leo Ulloa, who scored a hat-trick against Huddersfield on Saturday. Poyet had planned to play Ashley Barnes but he went down with illness earlier in the day. Poyet added: I thought it was a good game for Macca. He is our top scorer and I wanted to use him and make sure Leo is fit for the rest of the season, because he has just been on the limit. He is paying the price for arriving to England halfway through the season without playing too many games.
“I know it’s contradictory, because he scored three the other day, but these are decisions I have to make and I was not afraid of making sure we have got Leo for the rest of the season.”