Defender leaves Blues

Carl Dickinson tweeted after the Doncaster defeated that he'd left the Blues to return to parent club Watford
Carl Dickinson tweeted after the Doncaster defeated that he'd left the Blues to return to parent club Watford
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Carl Dickinson’s loan spell will not be extended after he was ruled out of the final match of his Pompey stay.

The left-back picked up a fifth booking of the season and his fourth for Pompey in the 1-0 defeat against Doncaster, which rules him out of tomorrow night’s home clash with Leyton Orient – the final game of his month’s stint.

But caretaker boss Guy Whittingham is unable to replace him in his 20-man squad until the loan has officially expired.

And even though Whittingham said he was still weighing up his options on whether to extend Dickinson’s stay, the player himself made it clear he’d left the club.

He posted on Twitter: ‘Big thanks to the Pompey fans. Enjoyed my time again, all the best for the rest of the season.’

Whittingham is expected to offer Ricardo Rocha a Blues contract early this week – and the Portuguese defender should be available for the weekend trip to Coventry, fitness permitting.

But he effectively ruled out anyone else arriving for tomorrow night’s clash.

The Blues boss said: ‘We can’t get anyone in on loan unless we get one out between now and the Leyton Orient game and I don’t think that is going to happen. So we are trying to assess what is the best thing to do with a 20-man squad.’

Whittingham also hinted he may not replace Mikkel Andersen, who is due back at parent club Reading this week, with another goalkeeper to give him more options elsewhere in his squad.

He explained: ‘If we don’t bring another goalkeeper in, I’m quite confident that Simon Eastwood can step into the breach.

‘It’s not a mad panic so we will assess it. Do we need another goalkeeper or can we get two outfield players instead?’

But Whittingham was pleased with the impact made by his two new loan additions and expects both winger Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and striker Paul Benson to improve with games under their belts.

‘We were pleased with the two new boys,’ he said.

‘I thought they made a big difference and we will look to bring in at least another one to make the same sort of difference.

‘Paul won his fair share of headers and I was very pleased with Nathaniel – he was getting people on their feet when he got the ball. He made a really good impact and he’s only going to improve.’