Awford keen to reduce squad size

Pompey boss Andy Awford
Pompey boss Andy Awford
Tareiq Holmes-Dennis limps off injured against Rochdale. Picture: Joe Pepler

Injured Holmes-Dennis pays tribute to Pompey

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Andy Awford remains hopeful of reducing his squad size before tomorrow’s emergency loan transfer deadline.

Yesterday’s arrival of winger Lee Holmes has swelled Pompey’s squad to a sizeable 32 players.

That consists of five loanees, several long-term injuries and a number of first-year professionals.

Nonetheless, for a League Two club the numbers are too high, impacting on the budget and ability to recruit further.

That has left Awford eager to manoeuvre several fringe players out before the loan window closes at 5pm tomorrow.

At present, there have been no takers. But Pompey’s boss is upbeat over clubs coming forward with interest.

‘We are always looking to bring in players and as long as we are in budget it is something we are interested in doing,’ said Awford.

‘However, the squad is a bit big at the moment and we are trying to manoeuvre some players out.

‘I have not got any specific number I have put on it, I’m just seeing how it goes.

‘It is difficult to do. You cannot force clubs to show an interest in your players, it doesn’t work like that.

‘So far no-one has been in touch but I’m hoping something may happen and we can manoeuvre some of them out.’

Holmes has joined fellow loanees Matt Fish, Marcus Bean, Miles Storey, Paul Robinson and Alex Wynter at Fratton Park.

Only five can be named 
in a match-day squad, ensuring if any more arrive somebody would have to miss out.

He added: ‘We were looking to bring in players before the defeats against Plymouth and Aldershot, that was always the case.

‘It has not suddenly just happened and we continue to look.’