Catlin: Zero pressure to cash in on Portsmouth's prized assets

Mark Catlin is anticipating transfer-window interest in table-topping Pompey's star players.

Wednesday, 2nd January 2019, 2:20 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 11:30 am
Matthew Clarke remains among Pompey's prized assets. Picture: Daniel Chesterton

But the Blues' chief executive is adamant there is '˜zero pressure' to cash in on their prized performers.

Matt Clarke, Ronan Curtis and Jamal Lowe represent the club's most bankable assets, high regard influenced by ability and age.

Clarke has previously been the subject of interest from Brighton and is currently attracting admiring glances from Bournemouth.

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Matthew Clarke remains among Pompey's prized assets. Picture: Daniel Chesterton

Curtis has been a revelation since his summer arrival from Derry City, while Lowe has netted 23 times in 93 games after being recruited from non-league.

Catlin, though, insists Kenny Jackett is under no instruction to sell off such talented youngsters.

And it's a stance hardened by the Blues remaining in pole position for promotion to the Championship.

'˜We are under zero pressure from the owners for any of our players to leave this football club. Absolutely zero pressure,' said Catlin.

'˜We are not looking for any of our players to leave in January unless the manager wants them to leave. This is an important few months coming up and we want our best players with the club.

'˜I never talk about individuals, but we have turned down offers for players within our squad and will continue to do so if we don't feel it is right for us.

'˜All that matters is that it's Portsmouth Football Club and enjoying a successful second half of the season.

'˜That is not just my view, that is the owners' view, that is Kenny's view, as a club we are united on that.

'˜The onus is Portsmouth Football Club and we have no intention of any of our better players leaving us, we will do all we can to keep them at the club.

'˜We don't want players leaving us at this moment in time while at the top end of League One and, by definition, you are talking about the Championship next.

'˜That is where our ambitions lie, so why would we want to sell our best players?'

Pompey are presently five points clear of second-placed Luton.

They have now occupied League One's top spot since September, with three league losses all season.

And Catlin is not willing to allow that encouraging advantage to slip.

He added: '˜When a team is in the upper reaches of League One doing well and individuals within that team are doing well then it's natural, you are going to receive interest, that's just a by-product of success.

'˜You cannot stop other clubs' interest in your players. I would be amazed if we didn't receive any interest in our players considering how well we are playing.

'˜There are a lot of clubs in the Championship either desperate to stay up or make a push for the Premier League.

'˜Their scouts are out there, I am sure we are on a lot of clubs' radar, but that is a massive compliment, not a negative.

'˜The biggest plus is we have a board of directors keen for us to enjoy success '“ and they know to achieve that success we have to try to keep hold of our best players.'