Strikers the priority for Leeds United and Rotherham United after lack of fire-power exposed in FA Cup encounter

Soulemayne Doukara goes past Lee Camp to score Leeds' second goal.' PIC: Bruce Rollinson
Soulemayne Doukara goes past Lee Camp to score Leeds' second goal.' PIC: Bruce Rollinson
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LEEDS UNITED and Rotherham United chiefs Steve Evans and Neil Redfearn will step up their search for a striker this week.

The lack of fire-power was patently obvious in Saturday’s FA Cup third round encounter between the sides at rain-drenched Elland Road.

Goals in the final few seconds prior to stoppage time in each half decided the issue in favour of Leeds.

Debutant Mustapha Carayol fired in a cracker to illuminate a drab encounter and send Leeds in ahead at the interval and a gaffe by Rotherham goalkeeper Lee Camp handed Soulemayne Doukara a simple tap-in for his first goal since November, 2014.

Leeds stretched their unbeaten run to eight games but if they are to maintain any hopes of reaching the Championship play-offs, head coach and former Millers chief Evans knows they need to recruit extra scoring potential during the transfer window.

He wants Norwich striker Kyle Lafferty on loan with a view to a permanent move but the Canaries want to sell the Northern Ireland striker now.

Ahead of tomorrow’s encounter at Ipswich Town, Evans insisted he has two other strikers in mind if that deal does not materialise.

Evans said: “I hope the supporters go away thinking that if I can go ahead to get the signings I want to sign, they’ll improve what we’ve got.

“That’s all I can promise them. They’ll not all work out but my job is to improve what we’ve got.

“Our president is speaking about three or four other targets and if we can add them, we will.If a deal’s there to be done then it will be. Hopefully, by the time we’re on the coach on Monday we’ll have added to the group.”

Evans also claimed that the club have bids on the table worth a combined £30m for his players with Sam Byram, Lewis Cook and Italian duo Giuseppe Bellusci and striker Mirco Antenucci attracting the most interest.

Redfearn, who sank his old club in the recent Championship meeting between the sides, is in a similar position to Evans, needing to find a goal threat if his side are to remain outside the relegation zone.

With a threadbare square, Redfearn admitted his substitutions on Saturday were made to protect key players ahead of tomorrow’s home encounter with promotion-chasers Brighton.

Another Canaries striker, Luciano Becchio, who scored 75 goals in 190 league games for Leeds, is back training with them after spending the first half of last season on loan with the Millers before badly damaging an ankle.

Rotherham are also interested in re-signing League One play-off final goal-scoring hero Alex Revell on loan from Cardiff City.

Striker Revell, 32, moved to the Bluebirds in January last year but has been out on loan at Wigan.

Redfearn revealed he is prepared to let Greg Halford and Jordan Bowery go during the transfer window and added: “We were just missing a bit of quality against Leeds, but that quality costs a lot of money. Good players don’t come for nothing.

“There’s nothing wrong with the way we are playing, nothing wrong with the way we are fighting and battling but we need better quality.

“We have got people in mind and they (Becchio and Revell) are two that we are interested in.

“We are a little bit down with the result but the level of performances are good but what we have to add to that is the goals. I think what we will find is that if we get our noses in front it will help us keep clean sheets.

“We need to get better players in. We need to be more balanced to see the season out in good fashion and that’s part of the process.

“When we are on top, we have got to score and get our noses in front. If we had got our noses in front, it would have been a different Elland Road.”

Match report: Page 3.