CHESTER City hope to have a new striker spearheading their attack when they make their first trip to the Don Valley Stadium tomorrow.
Eddie Johnson, who has been training with the Blues for the past fortnight, will be handed his debut against Rotherham United providing boss Simon Davies can push through the signing in time.
Chester-born Johnson, a free agent following his release from Bradford City at the end of last season, scored for a Blues XI in a friendly with an Everton XI in midweek.
Davies said yesterday: “We’re doing our best to make something happen over the next day or so. We’re close to doing it, we’ve just got to make it happen now. He’s been here, we had a game during the week and he did well in that. He’s looking decent. We feel he would add to the quality of the squad.”
Davies sees Johnson, 24, as the ideal figure to replace target-man John Murphy, who has been sorely missed following his recent sale to St Patrick’s in Ireland.
The City boss added: “Because of the strength of the boy, we would look at him up top because I think we need a bit more variety up there.
“His first touch is of quality and everything about his game at the moment is first class.”
Chester – reeling from three successive defeats – head to Sheffield to face Rotherham because the Millers no longer play home matches at their historic Millmoor ground.
They were forced to move out of town to the Don Valley – usually an athletics stadium – after negotiations over rent with Millmoor’s landlords, the Booths, broke down.
Cash-strapped Rotherham started the season 17 points in arrears – the result of a Football League penalty for being unable to satisfy the normal conditions of rules for exiting administration.
But they have won their first two league games and also celebrated a famous penalty shootout win over Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday – so the challenge facing the out-of-form Blues tomorrow is a big one.
Davies, who has a slight injury concern over Ryan Lowe (hamstring), said: “The next three games are massive. “We’ve got Rotherham, who are doing well at the moment, then we’ve got Barnet at home and then Bury, who’ve started quite strongly. The next three games are big in terms of the whole season.”
Davies is good friends with Millers boss Mark Robins – the pair were together at Manchester United in the early 1990s – but he has not spoken to his former Old Trafford colleague this week.
“We’ll speak after the game, and hopefully it’s with the points in our bag,” said the City manager.