McInnes still hopeful of adding a defender to Bristol City squad
BRISTOL City manager Derek McInnes is confident he will have a new centre-half on board by the time his team returns to npower Championship action against Blackburn Rovers on September 15.
The Scot has spent all summer scouring the transfer market in his quest to sign a dominant right-sided defender, but without success.
Although McInnes, pictured, was close to completing a deal with an unnamed player last week, he was unable to do so before the transfer window closed on Friday night.
City's manager will now wait until the window for loan signings reopens next weekend and then renew his efforts to bolster a defence that has yet to keep a clean sheet in five games this season.
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McInnes watched his team concede a soft goal and lose 1-0 to Barnsley at Oakwell on Saturday and then told reporters: "I'm hoping to have a new player in before we play Blackburn.
"I was hopeful of getting one in before the Barnsley game but, after a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, it did not happen.
"But I'm still hopeful of getting one when the window reopens, ideally before the end of the two-week international break."
But that player will not be Swansea City captain Garry Monk, who last week turned down the chance to move to Ashton Gate.
City have also missed out on Richard Keogh, who left Coventry to join Derby County, and Anthony Gerrard, who moved from Cardiff to Huddersfield, this summer and McInnes has now switched to other targets.
Although McInnes was clearly concerned at the ease with which Jacob Mellis scored with a free header to earn Barnsley victory at the weekend, he felt his team still created enough chances to have returned with at least a point.
Barnsley were reduced to ten men when Bobby Hassell was shown a red card for a two-footed lunge on Robins striker Jon Stead, after which the visitors laid siege to the home goal.
But their attempts to force an equaliser were frustrated by referee Steve Rushton, who turned down strong claims for a penalty when substitute John Stones used his arm to deny Martyn Woolford a goal in the 65th minute.
McInnes and his players clearly felt let down by the Staffordshire official, believing he should have awarded a penalty and sent Stones off.
McInnes said: "For me, it was a penalty all day long. Stones has done brilliantly to come across and keep the ball out, but I've seen it again and he has used a combination of his hip and his arm.
"If it does not hit his arm, then the ball goes over the line for a goal.
"You could tell by Sam Baldock's reaction that it was hand ball – he is stood just a couple of yards away and sees it all perfectly.
"Although we don't want to see players sent off, that would have been the likely outcome and we would have been level against nine men."
But McInnes admitted his team had not played well enough to warrant winning the game.
He said: "As the away team, you need to be dominant in the middle of the park to give yourself a platform from which to go forward and we didn't do that.
"We started with 4-4-2 and then went with 4-3-3 to match up with Barnsley, but I don't think either worked particularly well.
"I thought we were much better in the second half, but the game changes when they go down to ten men. I cannot fault the boys' efforts to go and get the goal that would have made it 1-1."