Bristol Rovers boss John Ward set to sign striker Oumare Tounkara
Bristol Rovers boss John Ward has confirmed he is to offer former Sunderland striker Oumare Tounkara a short-term deal after watching his side suffer a cruel defeat at Northampton this evening.
Rovers were on their way to a hard-earned point at Sixfields before Northampton midfielder Ben Harding bundled over from close range in the 88th minute to secure a last-gasp victory.
“The players are more annoyed than disappointed because they have worked really hard,” said Ward. “They were very strong and I think we deserved a point for that.
“The way the goal has come about did not surprise us because we had to defend those types of (high)balls into our penalty area for the majority of the game. The ball dropped nicely for them on that one occasion and sometimes that happens in football.”
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Rovers, meanwhile, have moved back to within three points of the relegation zone following the defeat, but Ward added: “I’m fine with the way the players performed.
“We’ve lost three games since I arrived and I haven’t been disappointed with the way the boys played in any of them. If the players give me effort like that in every other game then we will be in good shape.”
French striker Tounkara, meanwhile, looks to be the first of ‘one or two’ additions Ward hopes to make to his squad following recent injuries to key players.
The manager confirmed that midfielder Seanan Clucas has suffered a season-ending knee injury, while striker Ryan Brunt was also missing from the squad that travelled to Sixfields this evening.
Brunt is suffering from bone bruising around the knee area and is unlikely to be fit for Saturday’s clash against Burton Albion - although Ward is hoping to have Tounkara on board before the weekend.
“I’ll be talking to him over the next 24 hours to try and do something,” Ward said.
“We are short of players now and we certainly need to look at one or two reinforcements to get us through the next couple of months.
“It’s difficult because I have my full amount of loans taken up so we have to look at free agents. Oumare is a big strong boy and would be a good addition for us.”