Catlin: Room in Pompey budget to recruit

Pompey boss Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Paul Cook. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey's Jamal Lowe. Picture: Joe Pepler/Digital South

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Mark Catlin has revealed money remains within Paul Cook’s playing budget to strengthen.

The transfer window opens on Sunday, handing clubs the opportunity to fine-tune their squads.

As with all managers, there are players out there Paul has kept tabs on since the start of the season and even before that

Mark Catlin

Pompey have already recruited Jamal Lowe from Hampton & Richmond and Cook remains on the lookout for further recruits.

The Blues are also seeking to trim a bulging 29-man squad, with the likes of Curtis Main, Drew Talbot and Adam Buxton struggling to earn selection.

Cook’s playing budget was increased at the start of the season – enabling him to bring in 14 new signings.

With his side presently fourth in League Two, five points off the top three, undoubtedly there is scope to improve personnel. And Pompey’s chief executive has admitted finances are available to drive such recruitment.

Catlin said: ‘As at any club, the board set a manager’s playing budget for the season.

‘Within those parameters, signings coming and going are at the discretion of the manager and Paul still has a little bit of flexibility within that budget.

‘There is still money left in his budget.

‘How he wants to spend it is down to him, as manager of the football club.

‘Should he want to go above that budget then it is a question he can ask the board via me. However, that has not been asked.

‘As with all managers, there are players out there Paul has kept tabs on since the start of the season and even before that.

‘If he feels the time is right to sign some, he will come to myself and then we will make an approach to the board but that hasn’t happened at present.

‘If Paul is happy working within his current budget, there is money available.

‘Should he want to bring wholesale changes in then it’s a case of shipping players out to get others in.

‘There is still a little bit of money there. As of this moment, he hasn’t asked for any more.’

Meanwhile, Catlin is adamant there have been no approaches for Pompey’s players.

Conor Chaplin remains the club’s prized asset and someone they would not want to lose.

In general, however, Catlin explains interest in any of the players cannot be predicted.

He added: ‘It is all completely hypothetical. I have not had any approaches for any of our players.

‘Each player will be treated on a case-by-case basis as and when interest arises, otherwise you spend your life continually speculating.

‘You don’t ever want to anticipate players leaving but quite often things come out of the blue, you are completely blindsided by an approach for a player, so can’t discount it.

‘You can never say never because you don’t know the reaction of a particular player.’