ADAM BARTON’s re-emergence has been highlighted as reason for optimism for Pompey’s fringe players.
But Paul Cook underlined he will still be looking to trim his squad options as the January transfer window opens tomorrow.
Barton came in for an appearance in an unfamiliar defensive role in Monday’s 0-0 draw with Luton.
That was his first start since October, with Cook previously admitting he was looking to send the 24-year-old out on loan.
His fortunes have now improved, and the Blues boss sees no reason why they can’t also happen for others.
Cook said: ‘If you look at Adam Barton, for example, he would have been a lad we would have wanted to get out on loan four or five weeks ago.
Adam Barton would have been a lad we would have wanted to get out on loan four or five weeks ago.Paul Cook
‘In a blink he’s back in and playing.
‘His performance against Luton was nothing short of fantastic.
‘For a lad who hasn’t played in the centre of defence, to do what he did was excellent.
‘But, of course there are one or two situations we’d want to deal with.’
Jayden Stockley, Marc McNulty and Matt Clarke all see their loan agreements come to a close after tomorrow’s game.
Caolan Lavery’s follows later this month, but Cook is still refusing to speak on the subject of loans until after tomorrow’s Crawley clash.
‘There’ll be a lot more talk about it after the weekend. That will be the time to talk about it,’ added Cook.
‘We’re dealing with it after Crawley. We’ll say what we’re looking and not looking to do on January 2.
‘You must respect the players and the players’ club and everything else.
‘We won’t get involved in anything which will make us look foolish.’
– JORDAN CROSS