Tilton News - 1-12-05
Steve Bruce has backed misfiring striker Emile Heskey to rediscover his goalscoring form after he recently celebrated his first goal since August.
Heskey's extra-time tap-in in Tuesday's Carling Cup clash with Millwall ended a goal drought which stretched back to his double against West Brom - a match which the Blues won 3-2.
And boss Bruce is adamant Heskey will rediscover the form that saw him crowned Blues' player of the season last term.
'I am very pleased with him. Emile was our Player of the Year last season even if his goal return has not been what we would have liked,' said Bruce.
'As a team, scoring has been our Achilles heel all season. But Emile's played a massive part since he arrived and you're not going to get any complaints from me.
'That tap-in was just what Emile needed. We still expect him to get 12 to 15 goals a season and I'm convinced he'll do that.'
Meanwhile, Lens left-back Yohan Lachor has claimed Blues are interested in snapping him up in the January transfer window.
29-year-old Lachor has started just three games for French side Lens this season, and is thought to be looking for a move.
'I spoke on the phone to manager Steve Bruce,' he told French magazine But.
'I was very surprised. I don't know how they got to me but it's happened and it's very interesting, especially because of my current situation.'
'My contract with Lens ends in June and apparently they are not willing to keep me.'
Bruce may well be in the hunt for a new left-sided defender. Matty Upson was preferred to Jamie Clapham in Blues' last Premiership game against Sunderland, and with skipper Kenny Cunningham seemingly approaching the end of his career, the Blues coach will be looking to bolster his back line.
Finally, both Julian Gray and Jermaine Pennant look set to be passed fit for Monday's home tie with West Ham - but Emile Heskey is likely to be ruled out.
All three suffered knocks in the penalty defeat of Millwall, but whilst the two wingers are likely to have recovered in time to face the Hammers, Emile Heskey's twisted knee means that, even with the extra recovery time, he is almost certain to miss the upcoming fixture.
This leaves Bruce in a difficult situation in terms of strikers, with Walter Pandiani the only recognised forward at his disposal. He is unlikely to use Njazi Kuqi, and with Mikael Forssell still ruled out with a thigh strain, it is probable Bruce will be forced to name a bench bereft of attackers.