Mokoena: We need fresh faces

Substitute Connor Ronan holds his head in his hands as Pompey were well beaten at Southend today

Below-par Pompey well beaten at Southend

Aaron Mokoena pleaded with Pompey's owners: Give us some new players.

The Blues captain fears his side's season is in danger of falling apart unless Steve Cotterill gets the reinforcements he's desperately chasing this month.

Pompey's form dropped off over Christmas as their threadbare squad started to feel the strain.

Mokoena insists the club's players believe a top-six finish is on the cards if new blood arrives this month.

But the South African international feels those hopes are being hampered by his teams's hugely-limited options at present.

Mokoena said: 'We are in a position now where we need bodies. We need them to keep going.

'I would say we have been so fortunate to get to this period with no injuries and few suspensions. It's incredible, really.

'How can we carry on like that with the players we have? It has to be a miracle.

'I'm not writing this season off, but if someone doesn't say anything where can we get help?

'We need help. We can't do it by ourselves can we?

'We have this fantastic manager. He's sitting there thinking where he should strengthen. At the back? In midfield? Up front?"

'I'm sure he wants to strengthen every department. We need those few bodies to finish strongly in the league.

'We're still in it. We have two games in hand. I'm not writing it off. It's not late. There's still time to work this out.

'The play-offs are possible. We are still in the game.

'All I'm saying is we need bodies. We're not asking for much. I'm sure bodies will help. The gaffer's realistic. I wouldn't see him going to the chairman and asking for eight players.

'That will cost. He understands the situation the club is in. I'm sure he would never try to break the budget.

'He's been realistic from the day he came here.

'If we don't have anyone on the bench, though, we are going to be an embarrassing team with few players.

'I wouldn't want that to happen.

'The bottom line now is how we avoid that and it is clear. The answer is right there.'

Cotterill has given chief executive David Lampitt a list of three players he is keen to bring in.

Pompey are trying to make in-roads on that front ahead of the meeting with Nottingham Forest on Saturday.

Mokoena is concerned about the impact of fatigue on the squad as they come off the back of the busy Christmas period.

He feels that's the reason for the downturn in recent results.

Mokoena said: 'I always try to understand how it has happened from winning games, being in the position we were in and then dropping off.

'I would say it's fatigue to the players. When you have fatigue you need fresh legs.

'The past two league games have shown that. We got done by fresh legs – and that plays a big role.

'As a manager he wants to see the bench and see some bodies to finish the games.

'We have fantastic players, young players and experienced players.

'With a few bodies we can achieve our goals.'