Boss: We haven’t finished recruiting

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Guy Whittingham has revealed he is still on the hunt for new recruits after bringing Shaun Cooper back to the club.

The Blues boss completed the signing of the versatile 29-year-old on a deal until January.

Guy Whittingham

Guy Whittingham

And Cooper goes straight into the squad for tomorrow’s League Two trip to Cheltenham.

But with some extra funds made available by the board, Whittingham is still keen to bring some more quality and depth to his squad.

That’s if the right deal can be done within the financial constraints.

It includes the possibility of delving into the loan market – an area Whittingham was previously reluctant to explore.

He said: ‘There is some room to manoeuvre with the budget but just because it’s there, it doesn’t mean you go and spend it.

‘You’ve got to have people in mind for areas you think you need to improve on.

‘We are looking into that all the time.

‘With those 25-man squads in the Premier League, you might get one or two more players made available now.

‘We’re always making sure we know who is out there.

‘If we feel they are the right people to come in and they can improve our squad, then we will have a look at it and see if it’s possible.

‘We haven’t made approaches for any players but lots of agents have come to us.

‘We’ve been offered one or two very good players who could possibly go straight into our first team.

‘But we think we’ve got good players here already.

‘We have to make sure it’s the right thing to do for the squad and there are areas to prioritise ahead of others.’

Whittingham maintains Pompey are not spending anything above their means, even though his budget has been marginally improved.

He said: ‘We’ve joked about always wanting one more player all the time and of course we want a strong squad.

‘But we’re also being sensible at the right time.

‘That’s not just me, it’s the board, the chief executive and everyone making sure we do this properly.’

For Cooper, it ends an uncertain period for a player who served the Blues well last season.

He adds cover in a variety of positions all across defence and midfield and Whittingham insists he was always in the frame to return.

The Blues boss said: ‘It will be good to have him in the squad again.

‘Things were always evolving and I think it has worked both ways.

‘Shaun – at the beginning – wasn’t sure if he wanted to come back and wanted to keep his options open.

‘We started looking elsewhere but we had a re-think.

‘He came back in to train with us but at different stages, you have to have players in mind and Shaun was always in there.’

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