Catlin reflects on deadline day of Pompey surprises

Mark Catlin defended Pompey's transfer window dealings on a deadline day of surprises.

Thursday, 1st February 2018, 6:00 am
Stephen Henderson. Picture: Colin Farmery/Portsmouth FC

A move for Derby County’s Jamie Hanson could not be completed, while Kal Naismith’s anticipated Wigan switch fell through after persistent interest was not matched with a bid.

Kyle Bennett and Milan Lalkovic left by mutual consent. The former will today seal a switch to Bristol Rovers.

There was also the return of goalkeeper Stephen Henderson on loan from Nottingham Forest, representing the sole arrival.

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Meanwhile, Matt Clarke remains with the Blues after the club did not receive a bid for any of their players.

Many fans were left frustrated over Pompey’s deadline day outcome, yet Catlin reiterated the club worked hard to strengthen.

Pompey’s chief executive said: ‘We were working on a number of deals but on transfer deadline day they form part of a domino effect.

‘If a domino further in the chain doesn’t go down, then by the time it gets to our domino that doesn’t go down either – and unfortunately that happened yesterday.

‘It’s a bit of a chain reaction. You are waiting on other clubs to do deals with their players and it is out of your hands.

‘If they can’t get a player in they want, they can’t let out the player you are banking on getting. That’s just the way it goes.

‘Kenny, the players, everyone associated with the club, have done a great job just beyond the first half of the season.

‘We did business early, there have been four new faces brought in during January to have a material impact on the squad.

‘Now is the time to get behind the team with 17 games to go and see where it takes us.’

Unquestionably the biggest shock was provided by Bennett’s departure after 117 games and 13 goals.

He signed a new three-year deal in May and had been the subject of loan interest this month.

Yet his contract was ripped up after falling out of favour.

Catlin added: ‘The decision-making process regarding any of our players is solely down to the manager.

‘We have always backed the manager’s decision, we will continue to back the manager’s decision and if he feels a deal is right either in or out then we will do our best to support him. Kyle leaving is no different.

‘I would just like to put on record our thanks to Kyle and wish him good luck for the future.’

Elsewhere in the squad, prized asset Clarke remains despite speculation of bids.

Catlin added: ‘We never comment on individual players but I think it is fair to say we did not receive an official offer for any of our players.

‘You do get calls from managers, chief executives and heads of recruitment on a regular basis and it obviously warms up on deadline day.

‘However, we didn’t receive any formal bids from anyone.’