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Fulham 12:00 Blackburn

Sturrock rules out Kuqi bid

Pilgrims rule out raid for Palace striker

By Chris Galea.   Last Updated: 17/03/09 1:58pm

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Sturrock: Happy with squad

Sturrock: Happy with squad

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Plymouth manager Paul Sturrock has ruled out making a move for Crystal Palace striker Shefki Kuqi, as he cannot guarantee first-team football for any potential loan signings.

The Pilgrims have been strongly linked with the Finland international, with the 32-year-old having struggled to secure regular action at Selhurst Park this season.

However, Sturrock insists he is not looking to add to his squad heading into the business end of the 2008/09 campaign.

"At this moment in time we have five loan players in the squad, and you can only play five at a time, so it would be very unprofessional for me to bring any other players in on loan without them having a chance of playing," he told skysports.com.

Speculation continues to link on-loan striker Paul Gallagher with a permanent move from Blackburn Rovers, but Sturrock insists any potential deal would rely on the asking price put on the Scotsman's head by the Ewood Park club.

"Obviously we would love to keep Paul here beyond this season, but finances have a huge influence over bringing players to the club," he added.

"His wages and the transfer fee wanted by Blackburn for him would have to be a major consideration, but it is something we will be looking into and it will be difficult."

Progress

The emergence of youngster Ashley Barnes has been well-documented since making his first-team breakthrough for the Pilgrims in February and Sturrock has been quick to praise Blue Square Premier side Eastbourne Borough, who took the 19-year-old on loan for the first half of this season, for his impressive development.

"Ashley Barnes has done exceptionally well and he has all the attributes to be a top player," said Sturrock.

"He went to Eastbourne on loan as a lad and came back as a man. I'd like to thank Eastbourne because the benefits have been ten fold on Ashley really.

"I'm very hopeful that he will progress now, but there will be times I have to hold him back due to his tender age. We are very positive that he will become a top player."

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