Eddie Patterson looks to bolster Glentoran's striking options
Eddie Patterson is to launch a renewed bid to add firepower to his Glentoran attack with the countdown now on to the new season.
And the Oval boss is desperate to snap up a striker within the next two weeks, with summer signing Mark Miskimmin ruled out of the opening Danske Bank Premiership game on August 10 at home to Coleraine as he serves a three-match suspension.
With last season's top scorer Andy Waterworth leaving the Glens for Linfield just days after his goals brought the Irish Cup to east Belfast the need to inject goals into the team is great and Patterson is now placing the signing of a striker at the top of his priority list.
Former Glens hitman Andy Smith has trained with the club in pre-season and played in a couple of friendlies, but there is no indication that he will be offered a deal.
"I am happy with what we've got in midfield and the defence has been solid enough so far, but there is a need to bring someone else in up front," said Patterson, ahead of tonight's friendly against a Liverpool XI at the Oval.
"We have Mark Miskimmin injured at the minute and he will be missing for the first three game of the season as well, so need to bring someone in.
"We have lost Andy Waterworth, that's 25 goals that we have to replace and any club in the world will have a task on their hands trying to do that.
"Good quality replacements cost a fortune and we're trying to do it with nothing, but I'll keep trying."
Jimmy Callacher, Kevin Bradley, Jason Hill and Callum Birney will also be missing tonight for the Glens, who were drafted in to face Liverpool when Spanish side Celta Vigo dropped out of the tournament organised by Crusaders – who will face Hearts tomorrow night – with the Oval now hosting the games instead of the Ballymena Showgrounds.
"It was a surprise to me when we were asked to step in because I thought the tournament had been organised and that the game were in Ballymena, but I believe there were some financial issues," said Patterson.
"It's a pleasant surprise though. We've had two Europa League games, a game against Kilmarnock and now Liverpool.
"Playing against high quality full-time opposition in pre-season is much better preparation than playing junior clubs."