Triallist departs as boss lines up other targets

Pompey manager Steve Cotterill
Pompey manager Steve Cotterill
Milan Lalkovic in pre-season action against the Hawks

Pompey winger set for return against Walsall

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Steve Cotterill is hoping he does not have to take the risk of a raft of triallists over the summer after deciding against taking a gamble on Scott Neville.

The 22-year-old Australian defender spent two weeks on trial with Pompey.

But he has since moved on to try to earn a contract with Sheffield Wednesday after Cotterill concluded he was not quite ready for the Championship.

While the Blues boss is already looking ahead to next season, Cotterill is hopeful he will not be required to run the rule over a host of unknown talents when his squad reports back after the summer.

Cotterill explained: ‘We haven’t got any more triallists coming in before the end of the season now.

‘Hopefully there won’t be too many triallists in pre-season, either – maybe one or two.

‘A few permanent signings would be fantastic.

‘We need players to come in and do a job for us now.

‘We don’t need a lot of players in here just for a team photo. We don’t want players here for every day of the week bar Saturday.’

While Neville missed out on a Blues deal, Cotterill is hopeful he will get fixed up with the Owls.

He said: ‘Scott has gone on trial to Sheffield Wednesday, a lower level down. We are not going to be taking him on.

‘We think he would need time in this country to develop.

‘He’s a lovely lad but at the end of the day it was whether I thought he would get in the team here just now and I didn’t think he would.

‘But he was a great guy, he accepted that and we had a chat about things and he said he’d learned a lot in the couple of weeks he was here, which was nice.

‘Hopefully he will get himself sorted.’