Guy challenges new recruits to seize chance

Yassin Moutaouakil, Charlton Athletic
Yassin Moutaouakil, Charlton Athletic
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Pompey’s latest transfer recruits

have been told to seize their opportunity.

The Blues have swooped to bring in former Charlton defender Yassin Moutaouakil ahead of the clash with Hartlepool.

And he has been joined by old boy Shaun Cooper who has returned to Fratton Park on loan from Crawley.

Both players are expected to go straight into the squad tomorrow to face the Monkey Hangers, subject to Football League clearance.

Whittingham is pleased to see the pair arrive to boost his squad’s threadbare options.

Pompey face a frenetic period of fixtures with three weeks of Saturday and Tuesday games.

Whittingham feels it is the perfect opportunity for the pair to showcase their talents.

Moutaouakil steps backs into league football after playing for Hayes & Yeading this season.

Luton were keen on signing the 26-year-old after he spent a period training with them but Blues physio Steve Allen’s influence saw him come to Pompey.

Whittingham believes Moutaouakil now has a chance to show he still belongs in the league.

He said: ‘We had an agent contact us and a DVD come through four or five weeks ago.

‘Steve Allen said he knew him from Charlton and explained what he knew of him.

‘With everything going on, it got forgotten about, but, when we were looking around and covering every angle, he came up again.

‘So he got him in and we liked what we saw straight away.

‘He’s done well and you can tell he’s someone who could have a big impact for us until the end of the season.

‘He’s come into a situation after being out of league football for a while.

‘It’s up to him to prove he’s worth taking on.

‘He can help us and put himself in the shop window again.’

Cooper’s arrival from Pompey’s League One rivals seals a return to the club he left in 2005.

The 29-year-old made seven appearances before moving to Bournemouth.

All of his outings came in the 2001-02 season under Graham Rix and Harry Redknapp, after he arrived in March of that season.

The Isle of Wight-born talent has made 10 appearances for Crawley this season after joining the Sussex club on the back of seven years with the Cherries.

Cooper jumped at the chance of a return to the club where he first emerged and he will get the chance to play first-team football in the coming weeks.

Whittingham said: ‘We’re pleased to have Shaun back.

‘He knows the club and what is expected of him.

‘We’re thankful to Crawley for letting us have him and getting some games.

‘It suits us for him to be here.

‘His favourite positions would probably be sat in front of the back four.

‘But he knows he’s versatile and that will be important to us.’