Lampitt defends pursuit of ‘right’ men

Bradley Johnson was one of the players Pompey were attempting to net on deadline day
Bradley Johnson was one of the players Pompey were attempting to net on deadline day
Pompey suffered defeat at Southend. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss pledges to resolve defensive issues

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Pompey have been left empty handed after a deadline day of transfer frustration.

The Blues squad is again looking stretched after a disappointing close to the January window saw them fail to strengthen.

The News understands Pompey missed out on a host of players as Steve Cotterill targeted additions he felt could make a long-term impact.

Moves were made for Ipswich captain David Norris and Leeds wideman Bradley Johnson, as well as a trio of Burnley players including Tyrone Mears.

The Blues offered £500,000 to bring Norris to the club – a player whose contract is up in the summer.

Ipswich did not want to do business with their Championship rivals, although Pompey are confident their pursuit of the player will pay off.

Liverpool defender Paul Konchesky was another player high on Cotterill’s agenda.

Pompey spent plenty of time working on landing the 29-year-old but he opted for a loan move to Nottingham Forest.

Fans are furious at the lack of movement.

Supporters’ group SOS Pompey have vowed to protest at this Saturday’s Derby game and have even called for chief executive David Lampitt to resign.

Lampitt admitted it was disappointing not to land any of the players they worked on bringing in.

But he feels the transfer policy being employed is the right one to benefit the club in the long run.

He stated Pompey will now work on recruitment when the emergency loan window opens on February 7.

Lampitt, below, said: ‘It’s been frustrating and not getting anyone hasn’t been for the want of trying.

‘We put a number of very good offers on the table for players with the funds we had available.

‘We worked hard on bringing in additions we felt would have been good for the future of this club.

‘It’s about getting in the right players and not just bringing in bodies.

‘It’s about getting players who are right for the long term.

‘There is still the emergency loan window and we will look to utilise that and juggle our loans.

‘That will help us to have cover in key areas.

‘I still think that we have the squad to kick on for the rest of the season.’

The close of the window means Pompey have landed Belgian Ritchie de Laet from Manchester United and Aston Villa midfielder Jonathan Hogg on loan this month.

But John Utaka’s departure for French outfit Montpellier leaves them short on attacking options.

The Blues agreed a deal for around £430,000 with the French outfit on Saturday, with Utaka’s contract up in the summer.

The Nigerian had indicated he was keen to get away from Fratton Park, prompting his departure.

He scored 10 goals in 90 league appearances following his £7m arrival from Rennes in 2007.