West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Mowbray revealed he will be in the transfer market in January for a player like Kevin Phillips.
As rumours linking the club with Real Mallorca striker Oscar Trejo persist, the Baggies manager suggested finding someone who could knit his forwards and midfielders together was a priority when the transfer window opens for business.
His views come after Albion started with two up front on Saturday for the first time in the Premier League this season.
The manager was left largely unimpressed by what he saw against Fulham in an attacking sense, despite his side clinching a second successive 1-0 win.
“I think it was there for all to see that we didn’t have as much of the ball as we normally do and we failed to control the game for long spells,” he said.
“Sometimes we might have to forsake some of our ball retention and possession for a little bit more of a goal threat but I didn’t feel as though we controlled the game like we do with five in midfield.
“It wasn’t a performance that I particularly enjoyed watching and yet we won the game.
“[The way we lined up] was generally dictated by the personnel we had available but I’m sure the supporters could see the difference between the performances against Fulham and Everton.
“I like to control football matches, if we can.
“It’s almost ironic that we played two up front against Middlesbrough and Fulham and won 1-0 both times.
“We have probably had more shots at the opposition goal when we play five in midfield than we did at the weekend.
“The chances we created at the weekend were generally from set-plays. It wasn’t as if we made a multitude of chances just because we had two up front.
“It’s all about the balance of your team and who has responsibilities to arrive in the box and to counter attack.
“It is a lot more complex than formations.”
Borja Valero, in the heart of Albion’s midfield, was one player who suffered more than most, especially in the first half.
Mowbray insisted it will take time for the Spaniard to adapt to the way his team plays, which he is more than capable of doing.
It is not the team’s responsibility to adapt to him.
He added: “Your best players need the ball to control the game and, with due respect to Borja, he is not a ball winner - he is a passer.
“I think he’s adapting very well but I would prefer us to have more possession and control.
“I try and engineer a respectful atmosphere in the dressing room and I don’t want Valero to think any differently from anyone else just because he cost a few quid.
“I know he doesn’t, he has a wonderful personality and sees himself as just another part of the team but he is here because he is very good at what he does.
“We are a passing and moving football team and he’s integral to that.
“Playing different systems at times takes bodies out of the areas we need to move the ball around in and we can become a little bit one-dimensional if we have two players standing up front.
“Fulham started the same way but one of them, Clint Dempsey, continually dropped off to make five in midfield - but that is not Ishmael [Miller’s] or Roman Bednar’s game.
“Asking them to do that takes away from their strengths.
“We need a player who can do that role, though.
“Last season we had Kevin Phillips who could do that; he could drop in and link the team together.
“The balance of the team in that area at the moment needs addressing.”
Trejo, the 20-year-old Argentinian, seems a perfect fit.
However, despite coverage of Mowbray’s well-known interest in the player refusing to die down, the manager insisted the club is doing nothing to fuel the rumours.
“I don’t know where all that talk is coming from, maybe they are the ones putting it out there,” he said.
“The boy can’t get in the Mallorca team at the moment yet the price they are quoting is astronomical.
“He was one player that we identified as a talented individual and he played in an area that would be useful in our side.
“But we have done nothing about it since the window closed and we have had no discussions with his club.”
Mobray added:“Transfer targets are there all the time.
“All the staff have been out looking at players in the past few days.
“When the window shut we had meeting the next day to discuss where our next targets would come from.
“That is how we are going to survive, by finding quality players at the right price.
“We are working towards January where, hopefully, we will have more targets and players coming in.”