AS his side switches focus from FA Cup to FA Trophy, Alun Armstrong has reiterated his desire for a new striker, but admits he has hit a “brick wall” in his attempt to replace Tyrone O’Neill.

Middlesbrough recalled O’Neill two weeks ago, just before the first meeting with Walsall ended 2-2, since when Boro have had one match for which he was an unused substitute.

The 20-year-old scored seven goals for Quakers, and was at Blackwell on Wednesday when his former team-mates controlled their replay with Walsall but they lacked a cutting edge and succumbed to a second-half set-piece goal.

A frustrated Armstrong has had no joy from contacting various clubs, including some in the North-East, and he admitted: “I’m getting a bit of sick of saying ‘if we had scored’. We’re not scoring enough goals.

“Everyone can see why we’re not scoring enough goals, we haven’t got a natural scorer, a number nine.

“I wish I was playing in this team! I think I would’ve scored loads of goals! 

“Finding a striker is really difficult. We’ve been killed by Tyrone going back. He was at the match and gutted he couldn’t play. It would’ve been great to have someone like him playing because he would’ve caused them problems.

“I’ve been on to David Johnston (chief executive), I need a striker. I’ve tried for around dozen strikers, and that’s going back to before the first Walsall game when Tyrone went back.

“I’ve never stopped on the phone, but I’m hitting brick walls. Some clubs won’t let their player out on loan, some want them in a higher division – my opinion is they should let them play.

“Financially we cannot go out and buy one, there’s no way I would want the club to do that, but we need to help this team progress.

“At the minute we’ve got a good team but we’re lacking a focal point, the lads need it.”

Darlington are at home tomorrow in the third qualifying round of the Trophy against Gainsborough Trinity.