Neil Warnock is hoping it might still be third time lucky in the transfer market in his quest to keep Cardiff City in the Premier League.
Already this month the veteran Bluebirds boss has been thwarted in his bid to land Liverpool’s Nathaniel Clyne and Nice’s Adrien Tameze, but he hasn’t given up hope on landing Nantes striker Emiliano Sala.
Warnock made a second trip to France to watch the 28-year-old Argentine on Tuesday night in the win over Montpellier and met with the club owner Jean-Michel Aulas.
He admits he is desperate to land another front man to try to get more goals into his side as they bid to perform a ‘miracle’ in staying up.
“This is the worst transfer window of them all. It’s like climbing a mountain with butter on your hands,” said Warnock.
“One day you think you are almost there and then you slide back down to the bottom. You just have to learn to live with it.
“We almost had Clyne and Tameze in the bag, but at the same time their agents were talking to me they were trying to push them to other clubs.
“I had one player being touted to me by five different agents, so who should we deal with? We just have to be patient and, if we don’t get anyone in, we’ve just got to get on with things.
“Clubs and players are trying to get the best deals and the same clubs are chasing the same players. The problem is, you can’t afford to spend all your time on transfers.
“We’ve given it a real good shot and I would still like to get another striker into the squad because we are thin on the ground there. I need to get more goals into the team.
“The Sala deal is still very much up in the air with nothing concrete at all. He is just one of a number of targets we are long at.”
Cardiff had 21 shots in their FA Cup third round defeat at Gillingham last weekend and failed to score.
Ken Zahore is still two weeks away from returning and fellow striker Danny Ward was visiting a neuro-surgeon today (Friday) after suffering a head injury on his return to action at Priestfield.
Now Warnock has got to try to put together a side that is capable of beating bottom-of-the table Huddersfield in a game that has the look of a six pointer.
Having given away early goals against Manchester United and Tottenham in their last two home games, Warnock is hoping his back four holds tight for a bit longer this time.
“How is a manager supposed to enjoy his football when his team has only been in front for 94 minutes in the first half of the season?” asked Warnock.
“I can’t fault my players for effort, and we’ve got 18 points despite that stat, but we can’t afford to keep giving away early, sloppy goals.”