JOHN Coleman has been knocked back in his quest to sign the Conference's top scorer - but he has moved onto a new target.
Accrington Stanley made a five-figure bid for York City marksman Clayton Donaldson, who is leading the Conference scoring charts with 18 goals.
But he is now preparing to lodge an offer for another striker from non-league's top flight after being rejected.
"We made an offer for Clayton but York don't want to sell him, it's as simple as that," said the Reds boss, with the Yorkshire side also having turned down interest from Peterborough.
"So we are thinking about putting in a bid for another Conference striker.
"I am trying but I don't know if it will be before the weekend."
York's rejection is another blow as the Reds have also missed out on long-term target, Crewe hitman Luke Rodgers, who has moved to League One side Port Vale in a £30,000 deal.
But Coleman refuses to get disheartened and, if he can add another striker to his squad, the Stanley chief will be happy as he is impressed with new teenage frontman Chris McGrail.
The 17-year-old signed from Championship side Preston on Tuesday in a one month "work experience" deal which could be extended to the end of the season.
McGrail played the final 10 minutes of Stanley's 3-2 win over Mansfield - only the Reds second win in 14 League outings which moved them up to 19th place in League Two.
"He is a lively kid who is not scared. He has a heart like a lion and will put his foot in and he is not bad in the air for a little lad as well," admitted the boss.
Coleman - after slamming his defence following Saturday's 2-1 loss to Notts County - was also looking to alter his backline but he has had to change his plans on the central defender who he was ready to make a bid for.
"The one we were hoping to sign has sustained an injury and so we are waiting for results of the scan," said Coleman.
Meanwhile, Tuesday's goal hero Michael Welch is hoping promotion-chasing Wycombe's minds may be drifting towards Chelsea and the Reds can catch them out tomorrow (Sat).
Welch was under-fire with the rest of the Stanley defence following their loss to County but then scored a superb 25-yard-free kick in Tuesday's win against Mansfield.
And now the Reds are aiming to build on that at Adams Park with the defender, who turned 25 last week, hoping that the Chairboys eyes are on their second leg semi-final Carling Cup tie at Chelsea next Tuesday, after drawing 1-1 in the first leg with the Premiership Champions.
"We have to hope their heads are turned by the Chelsea game," said Welch, who was part of the side which beat Wanderers at the end of September thanks to an Andy Mangan 93rd minute goal.
"They have had a fantastic run in the cup since then and they are still up there in the league. They are consistent.
"They had a credible draw against Chelsea and we have to hope they are looking at Stamford Bridge, as many of their side won't have played on such a big stage, and it is an opportunity for us to grab a vital victory or at least come away with a point."
Welch knows the pressure has been on the defence with Stanley having the leakiest backline in League Two and Coleman threatening to bring in new blood.
"There is always pressure in football," admitted Welch. "There are always younger and better players waiting to try and take your place and my job is to try and improve and stick in the side.
"I have had the pressure at other clubs and here before and I have always managed to keep my place or win it back and I have just got to keep trying to do that.
"The back four on Tuesday were virtually the ones who won the Conference last season and there is enough there to win enough games before the end of the season.
"I am always willing to have a go, stick my head and foot in and put my body on the line and I will continue to do that."
As well as the long term injuries, defender Robbie Williams is battling with an ankle injury while striker Paul Mullin took a knock against Mansfield. Left back Alan Rogers serves the second of a three-game suspension.
Coleman, meanwhile is trying not to let his side get too carried away following that Mansfield win.
"You have got to be careful that you keep yourself on an even keel and not get too high or get too low," said the Reds chief. "It is a massive three points but we have to now build on that. I expect us to get something at Wycombe."
Coleman continued: "We have got to keep applying ourselves and doing the right things and do that between now and the end of the season.
"There are 18 games to go and we have got to win a big proportion of them to stay up. But I think there are a few teams who will have looked at that result against Mansfield and been a bit devastated and hopefully we can step on again."
Coleman admitted going back down to the Conference is something he can't even contemplate.
"It would be devastating and we have to keep working hard until we get ourselves into a position where we are comfortable.
"It is a learning curve and you have to learn how to deal with adversity, which is not something we have encountered in my time here.
"I know this club is capable of going higher. I am determined to take them higher but my first priority is to maintain the status we have got now."
- DEFENDER Rikki Bains did agree to stay at Stanley last week but has now left the club and joined Tamworth.
Left back Joe Jacobson has returned to Cardiff City after his loan spell was up on Tuesday. Goalkeeper Francois Dubour-deau and Oswaldtwistle-born midfielder Joel Byrom have also left the FES.