CHRIS HUGHTON is confident of making progress on one new signing within the next 48 hours, but the Newcastle United boss insists he will not be forced into panic deals.

After suffering a number of set-backs since the transfer window opened on January 1, Hughton’s only success to date has been to turn Danny Simpson’s loan spell into a permanent arrangement at St James’ Park.

But he expects to be in a position to confirm the arrival of centre-back Mike Williamson before tomorrow night’s Championship fixture with Crystal Palace.

The pending arrival of Williamson would offer relief to his stretched defensive options after already failing in his attempts to land Matthew Kilgallon and James Perch this month.

And he is determined to stay patient for the last six days of the transfer window as he attempts to find three more players to strengthen the Magpies’ push for promotion.

Hughton is working on his list of potential strikers after learning that Marlon Harewood has fractured his foot and will not be moving anywhere this month.

But the Newcastle manager claims he is not overly worried and is satisfied that by 5pm next Monday owner Mike Ashley and managing director Derek Llambias will have delivered new faces.

“We can’t afford to panic, certainly come the end of the (window) we’ll have the number of players in the squad that we need to have. We’re doing everything we can,”

said Hughton.

“The loan window reopens a week after the transfer window closes and there certainly will be possibilities in the emergency window so we mustn’t panic. We’ve got a good squad. It’s important not to bring in players just for the sake of it.”

Hughton has refused to become downbeat by the lack of progress in the transfer market, and maintains Newcastle will be able to stay ahead of the pack in the Championship.

“It’s part and parcel of this period in time and I’m no different to any other manager,”

said Hughton. “There might be the top clubs able to pinpoint exactly who they want and go out and get them but for the rest it’s not as straightforward and there are always going to be difficulties.

“I didn’t expect things to go particularly smoothly, that’s the nature of this window. It’s been a busy month. There are so many things but I don’t think that (we’ve hit the wall).”

With Steven Taylor sidelined with a knee problem – the extent of which will not be revealed later this week – Newcastle are desperate to add a new centre-back.

Williamson has been on Tyneside for the last few days waiting for the go-ahead from Portsmouth to complete the transfer.

And Hughton, who could bring the defender in initially on loan, said: “I’ve kept out of the politics of why it didn’t happen last week. I’m under the impression they’re working very hard on it and we’re confident it’s going to happen. I just want the player here.”

■ Reading have signed Blackburn defender Zurab Khizanishvili, who was at Newcastle earlier in the season, on loan until the end of the season.