West Brom news

Fortune favour Baggies as loan striker signs

January 15, 2009

West Brom boss Tony Mowbray believes loan signing Marc-Antoine Fortune possesses the qualities which will help the Baggies in their bid to survive in the Premier League.

The Nancy striker has joined Albion until the end of the season although the option is there to make the deal permanent in the summer.

Fortune will go straight into the squad for Saturday's home relegation battle with Middlesbrough - subject to obtaining international clearance.

He is West Brom's second loan signing of the January transfer window after Arsenal striker Jay Simpson.

Mowbray said: "I really like good footballers and I think basically he is a good footballer who plays centre-forward.

"He is a player who has got a good appreciation of the ball, who has got good movement, who can hold it up for his team and hopefully threaten the goal.

"I like him as a football player. I am delighted he is here and hopefully he will contribute to our team. I think he will fit into the way we play and hopefully he can add goals as well.

"He can do whatever you ask him to do. The days we want to play to one underneath one (4-4-1-1) he is a natural forward and, if you want him to play up front on his own, as he has done for Nancy, he can do that as well.

"Sometimes when you bring a player in, you've got to let them settle into your team and see where he naturally wants to play around the balance of the players you have got out on the field.

"Given the opportunity to play, he will have to settle into the shape and system of the team.

"But, if international clearance comes through, he will be in there as our player for the weekend and it will be down to whether I select him or not.''

Mowbray has admitted defeat in his bid to sign Benfica striker Ariza Makukula on loan and is pessimistic about landing the services of Paris St Germain front-runner Peguy Luyindula.

He said: "I am pretty sure any deal for Makukula isn't going to happen. That won't happen. For a few reasons, it won't happen and I think it is best we leave it at that.

"As for Luyindula, I would suggest nothing will happen with that one - but, when I look at the balance of the strikers we have got in now, I am reasonably happy.

"There is potential for maybe one more to come in but that would be it for me. Let's wait and see. There is half a door open for other players to come in but, if it doesn't happen, I won't be overly disappointed.

"I think we have lacked the cutting edge at the top end of the pitch and let's hope the changearound of a few in that department can spark the team into more goals.''

Striker Roman Bednar will be suspended for the clash with Boro after incurring five bookings during the current campaign.

Midfielder James Morrison faces a further two weeks on the sidelines with the hamstring injury he suffered against Aston Villa last week.