Cotterill to test Chainrai’s loan promise

Michael Tonge, left, is back at Stoke City
Michael Tonge, left, is back at Stoke City
Sylvain Deslandes could play at left-back if Dion Donohue is switched to midfield

Pompey boss encouraged by ‘good options’

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Pompey boss Steve Cotterill has been given the green light to delve into the emergency loan market.

Now he will be hoping Balram Chainrai is as good as his word as he looks to embark on another player hunt.

According to reports, the joint-owner has promised Blues fans a ‘couple’ of loan signings during the emergency loan window.

That period began yesterday for Football League clubs.

Up until Thursday, March 24, its members are permitted to raid the transfer market once again – albeit strictly on a temporary contract basis.

For those clubs, including Pompey, it is a priceless opportunity to strengthen squads.

As it stands, Cotterill has five loan signings in Ritchie de Laet, Carl Dickinson, Ibrahima Sonko, Greg Halford and Jonathan Hogg.

The chance is now there to also add emergency loans.

What’s more, in accordance to Football League legislation, there is absolutely no restriction on the amount a club brings in.

However, there still remains a limit of five loan players – whether it be standard or emergency – who can be named on the 18-man team sheet for any one game.

A side can also have all five of those players on the pitch at the same time, as Pompey did against Burnley last month.

Sonko, Hogg, Halford and de Laet all started the 2-1 Fratton Park defeat, while Dickinson joined them in the 64th minute as a substitute for Kanu.

For 25 minutes, half of the Blues’ outfield players were made up of loan recruits – then Hogg made way for Hermann Hreidarsson in the 89th minute.

Meanwhile, against Leeds on January 22, the entire back four was made up of loanees.

Now comes the news from Chainrai that there could be more loan arrivals.

Should just one be recruited, that would put Cotterill in the position of having to leave one of his existing loan signings out of his match-day squad.

And that would put Sonko and Dickinson most under threat, with both having occupied the bench in recent weeks.

Another aspect of the emergency loan system is that a club can recruit up to four players from another team.

In Pompey’s case, Dickinson and Sonko are both from Stoke.

That is the maximum they are permitted under FA legislation for a standard loan, meaning they cannot sign any more over-23 players from the same club on loan.

However, emergency loans raises that level to four, allowing Cotterill to pursue the likes of Michael Tonge or Danny Pugh – players Pompey have been linked with in the past – should he so wish.

Both men have already spent time in the Championship this season on loan at Preston before being recalled last month.

In theory, the duo could join Dickinson and Sonko at Fratton Park.

There is one stipulation, though – Football League players cannot be loaned to the Premier League.

Finally, the minimum duration of any emergency loan is 28 days, with a maximum of 93 days.

Once an individual player has used up his 93-day entitlement, he will not be allowed on an emergency loan at that club again.

For the time being, though, we all wait with baited breath to see whether Chainrai, left, really comes good with this player pledge.