Catlin: Pompey still in player hunt

Mark Catlin has revealed Pompey remain in the hunt for '˜a target or two' during the transfer window's final week.

Tuesday, 24th January 2017, 6:00 am
Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin Picture: Joe Pepler

However, the Blues will not panic if they cannot add to Jamal Lowe and Nicke Kabamba.

The non-league duo represent the only fresh Fratton Park arrivals since the window’s January 1 opening.

Paul Cook’s priority is for a powerful striker, yet continues to eye other areas of his squad for strengthening.

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Meanwhile, the departure of Milan Lalkovic on loan to Ross County has increased Cook’s playing budget.

And Pompey’s chief executive has assured supporters the club continues to scour for talented recruits.

Catlin said: ‘Paul still has his eye on a target or two and we will be working as hard as we can on those targets right up until transfer deadline day.

‘Paul knows the budget, we have worked diligently within that budget, and Lalkovic going out until the end of the season obviously frees up more money.

‘However, Paul has consistently said he will only look to bring in people who strengthen our current team.

‘From my conversations with Paul – and what he has said publicly – he is very happy with the squad. If we can’t get those people in, then we are good to go anyway.

‘It is very, very difficult to recruit because anyone playing well and doing well are obviously in a team so are not going to want to come to Pompey.

‘It’s also difficult to convince players from higher divisions to come down to League Two, while everyone knows the pressure associated with Portsmouth Football Club.

‘Having said that, there has not been anyone I would say we have completely missed out on.

‘Paul is still juggling some balls with some players in key areas he is looking to strengthen and, as always, we will be looking to support him in trying to make that happen.

‘He is actively working with myself, Tony Brown (finance director) and his backroom staff at strengthening the squad in the final week of the transfer window, but it will not be additions for the sake of it.’

The January transfer window shuts at 11pm on Tuesday, January 31.

Following the outlawing of the emergency loan window, that represents the final opportunity to strengthen this season.

Meanwhile, Catlin insists there has been little interest from clubs in Pompey’s existing squad.

He added: ‘There has not really been interest in any of our players.

‘Paul is only looking to get players out on the basis he has replacements ready to come in. It is not a one-in, one-out arrangement.

‘Should he come to me wanting to bring someone in without anyone going out and it was going to take us over the budget, that is ultimately a decision for the board – and that is the correct way.’