BASINGSTOKE Town manager Frank Gray’s plans for the season have suffered a major setback with the news that new signing Ross Montague looks set to miss the entire campaign.

The 21-year-old striker broke down with a knee injury in the first half of Town’s opening pre-season friendly against a Southampton XI last Saturday.

A scan was carried out last Monday, with the results revealing that the former Brentford and AFC Wimbledon ace has suffered a reoccurrence of the cruciate ligament injury that kept him out for a large chunk of last term.

Gray, pictured below, said: “Ross has done his cruciate again. He needs an operation to sort the problem and will probably be out for the whole season.

“It’s a setback because Ross was one of our early |targets but I am less disappointed for myself than I am for the lad. It’s horrible when something like that happens and he is a lovely lad.”

The only good news for Town is that Montague agreed to sign a contract stipulating that his deal could be reviewed should he suffer a reoccurrence of the injury, meaning Gray can bring in a replacement.

“We are in a position to go out and find someone else and we have a few targets in mind,” the manager said. “We are looking for a similar player to Ross, a target man type.

“We will not rush into anything because we need to make sure we get the right man. We have got a few players in mind but do not need to panic because we have got a bit of time before the start of the season.

“We have said that Ross can do his rehabilitation with us if he wants though. If he gets himself right before the end of the season, there might still be a place for him in the squad.”