Coleman has 'no choice' but to buy in January

December 29, 2006

Chris Coleman feels he has 'no choice' but to strengthen his injury-hit Fulham squad during the January transfer window.

Centre-half Zat Knight was the latest player to be added to the growing list of absentees following a broken jaw in a domestic accident and will be sidelined for around two months.

Captain Luis Boa Morte (hamstring) and fellow midfielder Papa Bouba Diop (thigh) as well as defender Ian Pearce (back) are all hoping for a return early in 2007.

Coleman, though, knows he has to bring in new blood when the transfer window opens on Monday, with reports suggesting he could renew interest in £2million-rated Norwegian defender Per Nilsson as well making a loan move for Roma striker Vincenzo Montella.

'I was looking to invest anyway and bring in a few fresh faces, but we have got no choice now - behind the bench we have not got anything and that concerns me looking at the games coming up,' said the Fulham boss.

'We cannot afford to lose anyone else and I will be doing my best to bring some new faces in during the January transfer window.'

The Cottagers picked up another valuable away point when they netted a stoppage-time equaliser at Charlton on Wednesday night to deny new Addicks boss Alan Pardew a perfect start.

Although the goal from Franck Queudrue came following the award of a controversial free-kick, a draw was hardly an injustice given the amount of pressure Coleman's side had produced during the second half.

The Welshman, however, knows his men must be at their very best to get anything in the west-London derby at Stamford Bridge tomorrow.

Coleman said: 'We have got a chance, 11 versus 11 - but their home record is as good as any of the top sides in Europe.

'We know it is going to be tough, but this season we have beaten Arsenal, although we have lost to some of the bottom sides as well.

'What is most important for me is that we have to compete over 90 minutes - that is all I can ask for going into this game.

'If we go in with self-belief and our sleeves rolled up, anything can happen.'

Coleman added: '(Manchester United boss) Sir Alex Ferguson has come out and said that both United and Chelsea will drop more points - and they will.

'It is possible they could drop points to us in this game, we know that.'

The Fulham manager feels his team can learn a lesson from Reading's creditable performance at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day, but also knows they could face a backlash.

He said: 'Chelsea's draw against Reading could work both ways.

'Either, the longer it goes on and we are still in the game, they will get nervous, or they will come out and try to put right what went wrong against Reading.'