Michael Appleton says Oxford United are “super close” to signing a striker to boost a side which lacked a cutting edge in a 1-0 home defeat to Wolves last night.

The U’s matched their Championship opponents in most departments, but rarely carried a goal threat in the final third as they lost to Leon Clarke’s first-half effort.

Strengthening the forward line has been a priority for Appleton since arriving earlier this month, and the head coach believes a deal for one forward is near.

He said: “It’s about getting the right one and from what I’m being told we’re not close, we’re super close on certainly one.

“That will give everyone a big lift going into Saturday’s game.

“He’s someone I’ve been aware of for a while and saw him play and do really well at the back end of last season.”

One other concern last night was the sight of Johnny Mullins limping off in the first half with a dead leg.

United will not know the extent of the problem for 48 hours, but the centre back will definitely miss Saturday’s game at home to Bournemouth.

Otherwise, Appleton was upbeat about the display.

He said: “Apart from the goal, there were a couple of chances created by both sides and I thought it was a really competitive pre-season game.”

Wolves boss Kenny Jackett said: “It was good for our lads to come to a league ground and if we come here in the cup it will be a hard tie.

“We certainly didn’t have things all our own way.”