JIM GOODWIN doesn't have as many pieces of the puzzle to fit together this season as he did last term. If his next one is his final one, then it could well be the most important yet.

Deals for the likes of Jak Alnwick, Joe Shaughnessy and Richard Tait have bolstered the Buddies backline this season and Goodwin's focus now is on the other end of the park.

The Irishman is keen to avoid another campaign of over-reliance on Jon Obika and a striker remains his priority. He is content to bide his time.

Goodwin said: "Recruitment, as any manager will tell you, is the most important thing.

"We lost a dozen or so players in the summer, we let a few go, and we had a lot of loan players that went back to their parent clubs. We have only managed to replace half a dozen so we are six or seven players light of where we were towards the end of the season.

"I knew that the budget was going to be tight and that the squad was going to be smaller than normal, purely because of the situation that we find ourselves in. It was important that they players we did bring in were able to hit the ground running and I am delighted to say they have done that so far, particularly the ones that started last Saturday.

"There is money in the budget for one more, I think. The board have been really supportive up until now and we have got enough there in the pot, I believe, to go and get a striker in that is going to improve us as a team.

"We are not in a real panic to get that business done right now. I have been offered countless centre forwards and had discussions with a number of them. Sometimes the player is a bit unrealistic in what they are asking for and we have to cut our ties there and then because we have a certain bracket we are able to go to.

"But, at the same time, if that one comes along that we think will make a real difference then the board have assured me that they will give me that backing."

The search for reinforcements has been far and wide for Goodwin and has continued as he has prepared for the trip to face Rangers at Ibrox tomorrow afternoon.

It was to the other side of the Old Firm that he looked in hope of striking a deal but he has missed out. Having come close to signing Vakoun Issouf Bayo in January, Goodwin has now found himself beaten by Toulouse to his signature.

He said: "We made it clear to them at the beginning of pre-season that if the player became available again we would certainly be keen to try and make something work and, in fairness to Celtic, they were very open and honest about the situation and told us there was interest from abroad.

"We knew it was a long shot but if you don’t ask the question you will never know. The player has decided to go to France and we wish him well."