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Albion hit obstacles in striker search
Albion are struggling to land a striker on loan as they wait to discover the full extent of the punishment for Ashley Barnes for his red card at Bolton.
Boss Gus Poyet has revealed the search is proving difficult, because of obstacles including cost and demands to be guaranteed a place in the team.
A four-match ban for Barnes has been confirmed but the FA are investigating whether to take further action against the striker after he was sent-off for trying to trip referee Nigel Miller.
Footage of the incident is inconclusive and the Seagulls are staying tight-lipped while the investigation continues.
Manager Gus Poyet said: “It was a difficult one to see and we are going to wait. We are not going to comment until everything is finished. We will see what is said in the report first.”
Barnes misses tonight’s visit to Barnsley, Sunday’s derby against Crystal Palace at The Amex, the trip to play-off rivals Nottingham Forest on March 30 after the international break and the home game against Charlton on April 2.
He could, depending on the outcome of the FA’s findings, be available for the final six games of the season, beginning with the visit of Leicester on April 6.
Palace could be without key winger Wilfried Zaha on Sunday. He is also under investigation by the FA for a hand gesture directed at Leeds supporters.
Albion’s loan striker search was already under way before Barnes landed himself in hot water with Miller, who takes charge of Leicester’s match at Cardiff this evening.
Craig Mackail-Smith and Will Hoskins have been ruled out for the season by long-term injuries.
Poyet told The Argus last night: “Unfortunately it’s not easy. It’s a mix of things, including the amount of money and if they are coming they need to play, which is not easy for me.”
Inigo Calderon, Dean Hammond, Andrea Orlandi and Will Buckley are all in contention to return to the starting line-up for the Seagulls at Barnsley. Calderon is on standby to deputise again at left-back for Wayne Bridge, who has a recurrence of hamstring tightness.
Poyet said: “Bridgey is going to be touch and go. I’m not sure if I am going to risk him.”
Meanwhile, the development squad’s game against Charlton, scheduled for Lancing last night, fell victim to the cold snap.
Two-page preview of tonight's clash with Barnsley in The Argus today