Awford: No need to panic buy

James Dunne. Picture: Joe Pepler

James Dunne. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Andy Awford is refusing to be panicked into replacing James Dunne.

The Pompey boss insisted Dunne’s knee injury will not be a factor in making any new recruits before the November 24 emergency loan deadline.

There are less than two weeks for Awford to bring in any temporary additions before the window reopens on January 1.

Dunne yesterday underwent exploratory surgery on his knee, as the Blues wait to hear of the severity of the problem sustained in the warm-up before the Carlisle game.

Awford believes there is cover already in place to offset his absence.

Nigel Atangana got the nod alongside Danny Hollands against Aldershot, with Ben Close, Johnny Ertl and Nick Awford other options.

Awford said: ‘It’s not a panic situation. We have a squad of players. I have a squad of players available to me.

‘If Dunne, Hollands, Atangana and Close are out it’s a bit different. We need to get a couple quickly then.

‘But I’ve got what I’ve got. Johnny Ertl can play in there if I need to. I’ve got more than enough cover.

‘So if the right one comes up we’ll do it. If not, we’ll get on with it.

‘I have four or five other central midfielders who can play in there.

‘It would be easy to rush into things. We have a good squad of players here, it’s up to them to seize it.

‘I’m not actively looking for a player in one specific position. We have enough in each area.’

Awford explained he is being contacted about a host of players who could potentially arrive at Pompey.

Former Wolves striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake is not among them, though, as he undergoes at trial at League One Bradford.

With a squad of 29 players, Awford underlined his key criteria is whether any new faces improve what he has available to him.

He said: ‘The agents don’t stop and there are circulars from the Football League all the time.

‘We have to do business before November 24 – if there is any business to be done.

‘The window then re-opens on January 1.

‘Dunnie’s injury doesn’t really affect it. If he was fit and another top player comes up who improves our team, I’ll go get him. As long as it’s in budget, I’d go and get him.

‘That doesn’t matter whether he’s injured or not.

‘Dunnie’s injury doesn’t mean we are going out and getting a loan.

‘If two players are available in budget we’d do it.

‘It’s not something I’m looking at and thinking I must get a loan. I’m always on the lookout for players, though.

‘I’m after a keeper, back four, three midfielders, strikers, wide players the lot. I’m always looking.

‘If they are better than what we’ve got and can improve the club in budget, we’ll do it. If they are not, we won’t.’

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