Paul Cook has revealed the reasons for Adam Barton’s departure.
But Pompey were not prepared to let Kyle Bennett depart for Ipswich Town on transfer deadline day.
And Cook has told how the final day of the window saw him miss out another late recruitment.
The Blues’ deadline day business saw Barton depart for Scottish Premier League side Partick Thistle on a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee.
He was replaced by young Reading defender Dominic Hyam, who signed on loan until January.
There was also interest from Championship side Ipswich in Bennett but a move never developed to a formal offer.
Cook confirmed there were enquiries for his players and why he felt he couldn’t stand in Barton’s way.
He said: ‘You have to be fair to your players.
‘Partick Thistle have paid a good transfer fee for Adam Barton.
‘As a manager I feel obliged to give them a new contract then.
‘If I’m not prepared to do that and the lad’s been offered a three-year deal, you have to be fair.
‘I wanted to looked after the club and we wanted to look at getting one or two in.
‘We couldn’t have been more active than we were but we couldn’t get one done and that was difficult.
‘People have interest in our players. There was certainly interest in one or two of our players in terms of moving on.
‘We tried our best. We worked hard on getting a couple of deals done.
‘One of them would have been very positive for us.
‘Unfortunately we couldn’t quite get them over the line, which is disappointing.’
Cook welcomed Hyam’s arrival and believes the move to Pompey will be a benefit for the 20-year-old.
Hyam will have to wait for his arrival at Fratton Park with the defender away on international duty with Scotland’s under-21 side.
He’s received a call-up to Ricky Sbragia’s squad for fixtures against Macedonia and Ukraine.
Cook admitted he didn’t expect it to be quite as busy a final day of the transfer window as materialised.
But the Pompey boss was thankful for the backing he received.
Cook said: ‘With the young boy Hyam it’s a different type of signing. That’s there for everyone to see.
‘He’s a young international footballer who’s looking to develop.
‘He had his first loan spell at Dagenham and has grown from it. His second and third loans will be important.
‘It gives him great experience being around our first team.
‘I didn’t think it was going to be busy, then you think maybe or maybe not.
‘The club are strong in their backing of me and we tried to get a player we couldn’t quite get over the line.
‘The club and board couldn’t have been more supportive.’
– JORDAN CROSS