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Slade Closing In On Striker Target

Town boss Russell Slade is closing in on his striker target.

7 August 2017

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Russell Slade is hoping to tie up a deal for a striker in the coming days.

And the Town boss has revealed that former Port Vale frontman JJ Hooper is training with the club and could be in the frame.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday's Carabao Cup tie against Derby County, he said: "JJ is in training with us today, he's completed another session. We are in dialog with his agent - we are talking - so we'll see what happens.   

"We've offered him a deal and we'll see where we get.  It's always a process and it doesn't always get done as quickly as you would like it to happen at times.

"He's certainly one that's in the frame."

Will it get done before tomorrow's game?

"I don't know," said Slade.

"We'll just have to wait and see. If it doesn't we'll work on it and try to get to the end of it," he added.

Clubs will be watching Dembele. 

Grimsby Town manager has been full of praise for winger Siriki Dembele, following his performance in the Mariners’ opening day victory over Chesterfield on Saturday. The 20-year-old, who signed for the Mariners from the Nike Academy earlier this summer, assisted Town’s second goal in the 3-1 win over the Spireites two days ago, and boss Slade wants to keep the forward for as long as possible.

He told iFollow Mariners: “We’re very excited by what we’ve got there and he’s somebody that obviously we want to hang onto, and for the fans – for us all – to enjoy for us as long as we can. “That’s just a natural process anyway [extending Dembele’s contract], but if we have to look at that more closely now and see what he does over the next few games, and extending that, then that’s something we’ll look at. “His assist on Saturday was excellent work from such a young player making his debut.”

Speaking ahead of tomorrow night’s Carabao Cup round one tie at home to Championship side Derby County (7.45pm), Slade said the clash with the Rams will be a difficult test for the Mariners. “Tough, tough game – it couldn’t be much tougher. In fact, the first week really, on paper, is a very tough week and they’ve got a very strong group. “He’s got such a wonderful group of players around him so he has lots of options – I’m sure he’ll use them. “I looked at the players that he had on the bench, and players that he could possibly bring in, and I don’t know whether I want him to stick to the same team as Friday or change really,” he said.

But Town will be without Sam Kelly, who suffered a dead leg in the win over Chesterfield, and Sean McAllister, for the visit of Gary Rowett’s men, while Chris Clements could be on the bench. And Slade said that striker Akwasi Asante should be back in full training by the end of August. He said: “Starting to run, starting to do more now. He’s not come in with the main group yet – I don’t think that will happen until probably a little bit later on in the month. “But by the end of the month, we’re expecting him to be full-time in all the sessions.”

Slade also added that he’s hoping the relevant paperwork can be sorted soon so that 19-year-old striker Ahkeem Rose can be available to play for the Mariners. “Just paperwork. Just waiting for that to be concluded. If we can get that concluded by the legal people, then he’ll be up and running and be able to play in games. “We want to get over that hurdle so he can play in some competitive games for us,” he said.

Watch all of this interview for free on iFollow (above). 

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