All change as five depart Blues

It is understood Brian Howard has been told his contract will not be renewed by Pompey
It is understood Brian Howard has been told his contract will not be renewed by Pompey
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Guy Whittingham faces a fight to put together a competitive squad for Saturday’s clash against Notts County, with five players heading out of the exit door.

Jon Harley tops the list of Pompey players who were yesterday told that their contracts will not be renewed.

The News understands Brian Howard, Lee Williamson and Mustapha Dumbuya are also the victims of cost-cutting measures at the Blues.

The decision comes during financial cutbacks delivered by administrator Trevor Birch in the past week.

Howard and Williamson are believed to be the highest-earning players currently on the Blues’ books.

Meanwhile, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing has returned to Peterborough following his loan spell after a mutual decision with Pompey.

Harley, Howard, Williamson and Dumbuya are all eligible for this weekend’s match at home to Hartlepool.

But with their futures away from Fratton Park as of next week, it is doubtful whether they will feature.

Caretaker boss Whittingham has at least been boosted by Gabor Gyepes’ decision to pen a new one-month deal.

However, there is a gentlemen’s agreement in place that he can depart if another club comes in for him during the January transfer window.

Meanwhile, Dan Butler has been recalled from his loan spell with the Hawks and added to the Blues’ first-team squad, which will be made up of just 14 players if none of the departing quartet plays on Saturday.

For Whittingham, it now promises to be a busy week as he bids to bring in much-needed additions.

He said: ‘Gabor has signed again for another month, which is great news.

‘After our recent two games it has shown we need our best players and certainly centre-halves.

‘With Nathaniel, he has not made the impact we thought he was going to.

‘We want people who are going to be here for a while so there is no point having him sticking around.

‘Hopefully there will be some coming in before Saturday’s game against Notts County.’

Striker James Keene is one who remains in Pompey’s sights.