Catlin hails Pompey transfer dealings

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss points to lack of cutting edge

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Mark Catlin reflected on an exhausting Pompey deadline day and insisted: We are now stronger for League One.

Boss Kenny Jackett recruited four players ahead of last night’s transfer window closure, with three moved on.

Matty Kennedy celebrates a goal during a loan spell at Plymouth

Matty Kennedy celebrates a goal during a loan spell at Plymouth

In addition, Nicke Kabamba linked up with Colchester on loan until January.

For Pompey’s chief executive, it represented his busiest window’s dealing since arriving at Fratton Park in April 2013.

The arrivals of Oliver Hawkins (Dagenham & Redbridge), Damien McCrory (Burton) and Cardiff pair Matty Kennedy and Stuart O’Keefe strengthen a squad which has begun League One solidly.

And Catlin is delighted at the quality of recruitment.

With the greatest of respect to the players who have left, I feel we have come out of the window stronger in regards of the squad and distribution of players within that squad

Mark Catlin

He said: ‘It has been the busiest transfer window I have been involved in but really with a culmination of a lot of work going back since Kenny came in.

‘None of them were really big surprises to us, two of them were Kenny’s targets since the day he got into the club but it’s not fair to name the two.

‘When you are looking at doing either loans or permanent transfers, there’s always an element of poker involved in keeping the cards close to your chest and running it to deadline day to try to get the best deal.

‘I am really, really encouraged.

Damien McCrory. Picture: Colin Farmery

Damien McCrory. Picture: Colin Farmery

‘With the greatest of respect to the players who have left, I feel we have come out of the window stronger in regards of the squad and distribution of players within that squad.

‘Oliver Hawkins is the real wild card but a player Kenny has coveted for a very, very long time.

‘Kenny’s record of bringing in strikers specifically and developing them is second to none and hopefully that will continue.

‘Matty Kennedy is a winger and can deliver a cross.

‘It is very, very exciting what he brings to the team, while Damien McCrory is predominantly a left-back.

‘And Stuart O’Keefe is of the right age and right temperament. He is someone who will get around the middle of the park and complement what we already have.’

It is understood Wigan made an approach for Kyle Bennett, yet he remains at Fratton Park.

Tom Davies completed his move to Coventry City for an undisclosed fee, while Carl Baker and Michael Smith had their deals cancelled by mutual consent, the latter then moving to Bury.

Catlin added: ‘We are not in a position and don’t have any intention of throwing away all the good work of recent years in making the club self-sustaining, so it was absolutely vital we balanced the books. We have more or less achieved that.

‘No-one likes to see players leaving the club but from a financial point of view it is obviously very pleasing we have been able to keep the club on an even keel in terms of the budget.’