Pompey boss braced for late transfer activity

Kenny Jackett has assured the Fratton faithful Pompey are monitoring the transfer market for recruits.

Friday, 19th January 2018, 6:00 am
Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

Yet he is braced for late activity as the inevitable knock-on effect from other clubs signing players kicks in.

The necessity to strengthen his Blues squad has ramped up following the news Stuart O’Keefe could be out for up to 12 more weeks.

The on-loan 26-year-old this week underwent an operation for a hernia-related problem.

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It strips Pompey of another central midfielder, with Danny Rose already out for the season.

Jackett does not anticipate fresh arrivals ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Rotherham.

But he foresees the traditional late flurry of trading – as clubs like Pompey wait to react to matters unfolding elsewhere.

The Blues manager said: ‘I don’t expect anyone in before tomorrow and there have been no bids in for our players.

‘Whether anybody will arrive before the deadline we shall see but it won’t be a high amount of people.

‘You always like to do your business early if you can. The nature of it is, for some reason, people wait until the end and then there’s a massive knock-on effect.

‘Once they sign one or two players they release others – and that’s why it builds up towards the end.

‘It’s nobody’s choice but there is a pecking order to it and everybody is waiting for maybe one or two clubs to sign or make decisions.

‘Then it has a knock-on effect, which leaves it late.

‘We are also waiting, very much so, it happens every window and every year.

‘While the system is in place like this, that will be the way it is.’

Jackett last week compensated for his lack of central midfield options by switching Nathan Thompson there.

In addition, the Blues also introduced a system change, with three central defenders, to bolster midfield numbers.

Tomorrow they travel to a Rotherham side unbeaten in seven and lagging behind by just a point.

Meanwhile, head of recruitment Phil Boardman is leading the player hunt – and Jackett is confident with Pompey’s transfer formula.

Jackett added: ‘We have a recruitment department and their job, basically, is to know the market and be ready at the time as and when you need to sign players, whether it’s this window, the next one or the one after.

‘The more years of experience you have of identification, the fewer mistakes you make.

‘I think you have seen it here before at times. Coming back into pre-season, only having X amount of players, then starting recruiting, maybe signing 12.

‘It’s tough to mix a squad and find players that are good enough.

‘Recruitment teams have to be constant, ongoing, looking at all positions and all areas if you can. That’s where it is.

‘There is no excuse not to have a clear plan and be able to identify players who can improve you.’