County boss Edinburgh won't sign any strikers this summer
6:11am Monday 26th May 2014 in Sport
NEWPORT County manager Justin Edinburgh has admitted he's unlikely to move for a single striker this summer.
The Argus can reveal that Edinburgh is prepared to put his faith in County's previously misfiring forwards as he targets an improvement on their impressive debut season back in the Football League.
The Exiles finished 14th in League Two but only two points off ninth and that after a very poor second half to the campaign. County were as high as fourth at Christmas before a horror run around the turn of the year ended their promotion aspirations.
A key factor in County's slump was a lack of goals, striker Conor Washington was sold in January to Peterborough for a lucrative fee but that coincided with injuries to key forwards Aaron O'Connor and Chris Zebroski and a loss of form from Danny Crow and Christian Jolley.
Jolley netted only twice all season, Crow remained in single-figures, O'Connor missed all but the final three games through injury and Zebroski was sidelined for three full months.
However, with January signings Shaun Jeffers, Joe Parker and Rene Howe also under contract and Robbie Willmott an option in a front three, Edinburgh is adamant the club DOES have goal power for next term. And that's why he's turned his attention to defensive and midfield reinforcements.
He's already signed former Exiles Darren Jones to replace the departed Harry Worley and is hoping to make Kevin Feely his second defensive signing of the summer this week.
The Exiles are also in discussions with a midfield player having already swooped for Forest Green's Yan Klukowski.
However, with a new reserve team next term allowing a better standard of football for non-contract triallists, local players and County's youngsters, Edinburgh is fully confident the Exiles have plenty of goals in stock.
"We aren't looking at adding any more forward players, we have eight in the squad already and I'm putting my faith in those players," Edinburgh told the Argus.
"I feel very confident that all of them can produce for us next season.
"Aaron O'Connor will be back, we missed him massively last year and it's a big thing to keep Chris Zebroski.
"He scored 14 goals despite missing three months and that's an excellent return."
However, Edinburgh is also confident of seeing improvements in players, as well as just having them available more.
"We really believe in Christian Jolley, he had a horrible time last season in terms of goals, but he's a quality player," he explained.
"He will certainly get more goals next season and there are other players who will benefit from their experiences with us.
"Rene Howe will be much better for having a pre-season with us and being at his sharpest and Shaun Jeffers will also be more comfortable and familiar here.
"Danny Crow has been very reliable for us in the past and I've set him some challenges for next season and Robbie Willmott's performances spoke for themselves.
"We've also got young Joe Parker and between them, I'm confident we've got plenty of goals in the squad.
"It should be a huge battle every week to even be selected."
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