Potts exit ensures Pompey left-back search ramped up

Conor Chaplin could start againsyt Plymouth. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey v Plymouth: pre-match talking points

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Pompey have sights set on a left-back recruit as boss Richie Barker prepares to bid goodbye to Dan Potts.

The 19-year-old will return to West Ham after tomorrow’s trip to Bristol Rovers.

It will end a month-long stay for Potts, with the Blues having been turned down after enquiring about extending it.

That is likely to give Marcos Painter an opportunity as he seeks an extension to his deal.

Meanwhile, Dan Butler continues to be sidelined with a knee injury picked up during his Aldershot loan spell.

Regardless, Barker is looking to recruit a new left-back when the transfer window reopens on January 1.

He said: ‘Certainly by January we need to have an idea of where we are going with it (left-back) and it’s another one of the decisions I have got to make.

‘Sometimes one door closes and another opens and it could be that door opens for Marcos.

‘Sometimes things happen for a reason.

‘We wanted Dan to stay, it was a decision made between him and West Ham.

‘He is their player and I am always understanding of that.

‘We are grateful other clubs lend us players and you have to be respectful of the fact they make the decisions.

‘To be fair to Dan, I think he wants to go to play for West Ham in the Premier League, which is no disrespect to Portsmouth.

‘All the players should want to go and play in the Premier League.

‘That is the pinnacle of your football career, he is obviously the closest at the minute because he is at a Premier League club.

‘They won in the Capital One Cup the other night so he probably sees his best chance of playing for the first team might be in the cup.

‘I think he wants to do the best he can at West Ham and enjoyed his time here with us.

‘Probably he feels he’s a little bit closer to their first team now.’

Heading into his final match tomorrow, Potts has so far made five appearances for the Blues.

All have come in the troublesome left-back position which will soon require filling once more.

Butler, Painter, Danny East, Shaun Cooper and Joe Devera have all occupied the role during the opening half of the season.

Painter has made six appearances.

He has since been badly affected by injury, ruling him out for a long spell.

But despite the ex-Birmingham player being available since the start of November he has yet to play again.