No panic

Preston's search for a new striker continued today with chairman Derek Shaw insisting the club wouldn't be panic-buying in the run-up to Christmas.

Boss Craig Brown is after a replacement for Ricardo Fuller and also has his eye on strengthening other areas of the Deepdale squad.

A number of possible targets have been linked with a move to North End since news emerged that Fuller was ruled out for the season but chairman Shaw was today staying tight-lipped on the speculation.

"Craig and his staff are working on a few things at the moment and when they are ready to make a move, they will tell me and the board," said the chairman.

"It is vital we bring the right type of players into the club and we won't be rushed into something which is so important.

"There are plenty of names being bandied about at the moment but when we are ready to announce something, we will do.

"A new striker is at the forefront of everyone's minds, although on Saturday against Wimbledon the forward line did alright – we let silly goals in at the other end.

"We also have Richard Cresswell back from suspension at the weekend so his return will be a bonus."

With Brown being the former Scottish coach, a number of players north of the border have been mentioned as potential targets.

Motherwell's James McFadden, one of Scotland's brightest hopes, was a striker the North End boss tried to sign at the start of the season.

With the transfer window between England and Scotland shut until January 1, he would only be able to move on loan before then – a scenario unlikely to appeal to Motherwell.

Another name suggested in the national press over the weekend was Everton's Duncan Ferguson.

But the giant frontman is still rehabilitating after a back injury and unlikely to be ready for match action just yet.

Meanwhile, Brown resisted the temptation to give some members of his leaky defence a run-out in the reserves today.

The second string were taking on Oldham Athletic at Lancaster's Giant Axe ground this afternoon but it was largely a youthful squad which travelled up the M6.

Michael Jackson, Tyrone Mears, Tepi Moilanen and Lee Cartwright were named in Billy Davies' side while Iain Anderson was also included after recovering from another niggling injury.

Winger Anderson has been in and out of action this season, much to the Scotsman's frustration.

If he gets through this afternoon's game, he's likely to be back in Brown's first-team plans for the busy Christmas period.

Former North End striker Lee Ashcroft has agreed to join Huddersfield on a month's loan from Wigan.

The 30-year-old is out of favour at the Second Division leaders and a Huddersfield businessman is sponsoring the move by paying his wages for the month.