Jay Simpson will have to be patient and wait for his first start for West Bromwich Albion but manager Tony Mowbray has said the gifted striker will receive his chance and will be used as an out-and-out striker.
The 20-year-old, on loan from Arsenal until the end of the season, was a prolific and powerful striker for the Gunners during their Carling Cup campaign and gained first-team experience last season on loan at Millwall, where he was used as a right winger.
However, Mowbray has recruited the London-born player to provide competition for his striking positions with Roman Bednar, Luke Moore and Craig Beattie, although Simpson did make his debut on the right wing last Saturday as a half-time substitute during the 1-1 FA Cup draw with Peterborough United.
“Jay did fine on his debut,” Mowbray said. “I asked him to play in a position he was not brought in for. I put him on really to get three strikers on the pitch because the game was going nowhere in the first half. I wanted to shake it up and make the game stretched.
“Sometimes it happens that when you have three players high up the pitch the opposition can attack you. We needed them to attack us to create more space for us to break in to.
“He showed glimpses of his pace and his ball control and hopefully, sooner rather than later, he will get a break in front of goal and he will take a chance and be up and running.
“He will play centre-forward for us. Roman and Luke have done well for us over the last few games and have scored a few goals so Jay has to be patient and wait for his opportunity, whether that is off the bench or starting because we have a lot of games coming up.
“He will start some games and then it will be down to him to impress.”
Meanwhile, Mowbray has ruled out the possibility of Beattie going out on loan again.
The Scotland international was recalled from a loan spell at Crystal Palace following the season-ending injury which has robbed him of the services of Ishmael Miller, and Beattie is now at The Hawthorns to stay this time. “‘Beats’ scored against Tottenham and is working extremely hard,” Mowbray said. “He came back with a real spring in his step and we’ve had no contact from Palace or anybody else.
“He will have to see how the selection of the team goes and, as we move on, we will decide who makes the team, who makes the bench and who is left out altogether.
“There is no point talking about his future other than to say he is our player, he has proved he can score in the Premier League and hopefully there are more goals there for him.”
Meanwhile, Bartosz Slusarski could be on his way out of the club. Slusarski, who has made only one substitute appearance in the Championship for Albion since signing 17 months ago, remains on the fringes of the squad and has just completed his second loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday.
The Poland international has also spent time at Hillsborough and Blackpool last season.
“It’s still up in the air with Bartosz,” Mowbray said. “He is a good lad and I enjoy his humility and his natural professionalism. He has been pushed from pillar to post as a lad in a foreign country but he has just got on with his job and we will see what his future holds.”
n?Hull City striker Dean Windass has conceded his days with the Barclays Premier League club are numbered after being told he can leave on loan.
The 39-year-old, who netted the winner in the Coca-Cola Championship play-off final against Bristol City at Wembley last May, has started only one top-flight match this season and has made only six league and cup appearances.