Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley told to find solution to problematic area of the pitch if Blues are to compete with Derby, Sheffield Wednesday, Ipswich & Co for promotion

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That’s the verdict of The News’ chief sports writer, Neil Allen, who admitted promotion depends on Danny Cowley finally finding the solution to a long-standing Blues problem area.

At present, Pompey have no registered senior strikers on their books.

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They have been linked with Kion Etete, Kyle Wootton, Kyle Joseph and Morgan Whittaker as Cowley recognises the need to recruit in that area.

Meanwhile, the Blues remain interested in former loanee George Hirst, with Aiden O’Brien still mulling over his offer of a new contract.

Cowley is deliberately searching for pace, power and athleticism from whoever he brings in.

And Allen hopes that proves to be the winning formula, with pressure on the manager to get it right this summer.

Neil Allen reveals the main area where Pompey must improve this summer.

Speaking to portsmouth.co.uk, he said: ‘We’ve not seen many good strikers down here since Pompey left the Championship.

‘There was (Brett) Pitman, I liked watching David Connelly and Patrick Agyemang together, while (George) Hirst had a good time – but they’ve struggled with strikers for a long time.

‘It’s very rare that strikers come off at Fratton Park over the last decade, so it’s crucial (that changes in the tranfer window).

‘Tyler Walker came here with a great reputation and we were all excited about that. It didn’t work out and we’ve seen so many not work out.

‘Michael Smith, John Marquis, Ellis Harrison didn’t come off and we’ve seen it so many times and he (Cowley) needs several strikers because promotion depends on it.

‘They need something there, that’s a huge area of the pitch to improve.’

Although improving the forward department is a must, Allen believes the Blues shouldn’t let up in their recruitment elsewhere.

He added: ‘Just because Pompey need strikers doesn’t mean they can’t strengthen elsewhere, there are so many players needed for this football club.

‘There is a foundation there but they need more to arrive in other areas to help with the promotion push.’

‘But strikers are pivotal because there are no senior forwards at the club currently.’

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