Pompey boss chases three new signings

Ben Close. Picture: Joe Pepler

Oxford v Pompey: Gaffer for a day

Steve Cotterill wants three permanent signings after Pompey's squad crisis deepened.

And the Blues boss also hopes for a loan recruit to be at Fratton Park by the end of the week.

Cotterill revealed last week he was keen to make two loan deals. But as his selection dilemma grows, he has now handed chief executive David Lampitt a list of three players he is eager to spend his small transfer kitty on.

The unnamed trio will all be out of contract at their respective clubs at the end of the season, a situation the Blues hope will enable them to pick them up at bargain prices.

It will now be up to Lampitt to seal the prospective deals.

For Cotterill, it is a priority to recruit as speedily as possible as his squad numbers continue to decline.

Dave Kitson's sending off in Saturday's 3-1 defeat at Brighton will see him banned for three matches – unless Pompey succeed in any appeal.

Liam Lawrence also picked up a thigh injury and limped out of the action late on.

In addition, Ricardo Rocha remains sidelined with a hamstring problem and Danny Webber is not yet ready to return.

It means Cotterill's squad is smaller than ever ahead of this weekend's tough trip to Nottingham Forest.

But Pompey's manager is hoping Lampitt can tie up a few deals before then.

Cotterill said: 'I think it has been essential for a long time..

'I've handed the chief executive three names of players I think will come in and do very well for us.

'I have given names over now, so it's up to the chief executive to speak to other chief executives.

'They are permanent players but I don't know when they will be done.

'There's another loan we are still trying to work on. Hopefully we'll know something about that by the end of this week.

'I am sure the chief executive will go and make a few phone calls. We've just got to carry on until perhaps those people come over the line.'

In the meantime, Greg Halford is pencilled in to return to Pompey in the next few days.

The 26-year-old is currently training at parent club Wolves during his three-match ban.

But he is expected to be back on loan with the Blues by the end of the week, although he will be suspended for the trip to Forest.

In addition, Cotterill is still eyeing two further loans this month to take his total number to five, with Ibrahima Sonko and Carl Dickinson already at the club.

Cotterill added: 'Hopefully Halford will be sorted and can kick in this week.'