Newport County manager Graham Coughlan has admitted he wished he had the luxury of signing former Premier League striker Troy Deeney, reports the South Wales Argus.
The 35-year-old forward was announced as a player-coach for Forest Green on Thursday evening, as he aims to lead a successful season for the League Two outfit both on and off the field.
Deeney has played more than 600 games with notable spells at Walsall, Watford and Birmingham City, with the Irish manager revealing the forward is someone he would have loved to have at Rodney Parade, with inexperienced duo Will Evans and Seb Palmer-Houlden currently leading the line in the absence of injured pair Omar Bogle and Offrande Zanzala.
The Birmingham-born forward has almost 50 Premier League goals to his name and hit double figures in England’s top flight just four years ago; meanwhile the Exiles are aiming to compete in the fourth division under one of the lowest budgets yet again.
County will meet the Green Devils in Saturday’s League Two fixture, as both clubs look to kickstart their season, with both duo recording one win and two defeats in their opening three games.
What’s been said?
On the addition of the experienced striker to tomorrow’s opponents, the 48-year-old told South Wales Argus: “Troy Deeney is an experienced pro, and you could look at it how he would help Seb and Will, and even Omar Bogle, if we could bring him into our dressing room.
“That’s a nice luxury for Forest Green to have.
“I would relish something like that, but I haven’t got that luxury.
“Forest Green are a very good technical team,” he added. “We’ve had them looked at. It’s going to be a stern test.
“They’re a footballing team, but they’ve got really strong, powerful players and they’ve added to their squad with Deeney coming in alongside Matty Taylor – that’s a strike force that belongs in a higher division.
“They’re a very dangerous team with a lot of power at the back and on set-pieces with Ryan Inniss, who we will know well from his time here.”
If Deeney is fit enough to make an appearance at The New Lawn on Saturday, it could provide one of the toughest tests for Coughlan’s back line all season.
The former Watford skipper featured 33 times for Birmingham in the Championship last season, so it is a fair assessment that he could still be playing at a higher level.
But the Dublin-born manager is no stranger to facing sides who have a bigger budget than his own, as he looks to continue his excellent efforts of maintaining Newport’s EFL status.