Pompey boss braced for aftermath of transfer window changes

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler
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IT HAS become a cliché, a well-worn platitude trotted out by managers around the country and across the leagues.

‘Getting recruitment done early’ has developed into a stock statement.

Oli Hawkins was one of four Pompey signings on the final day of last season's summer transfer window

Oli Hawkins was one of four Pompey signings on the final day of last season's summer transfer window

Except the swiftness of the process has become even more crucial following transfer window alterations.

In February, Football League members voted to accompany the Premier League in bringing the deadline day forward to 5pm on Thursday, August 9 – effectively a reduction of three weeks.

To balance out that shortening, the window will open on Thursday, May 17, signifying an early start to the transfer scramble.

Of course, no manager targets the frenetic transfer window end which has become customary.

Our aim is to try to be as proactive if we can. Be proactive early and not leave it late

Kenny Jackett

Yet now, more than ever, it is important to succeed in recruitment during the earlier summer months.

Kenny Jackett said: ‘There are three fewer weeks in August and that is going to make a big difference during the first year of it being in place.

‘We will have to see how it pans out but, like everybody, the sooner I can get commitments and build a squad the better for me, there is no doubt about that.

‘I don’t want to be leaving it late.

‘I have been looking at a lot of managers’ quotes, such as Chris Wilder at Sheffield United who has been saying “where’s my budget? I want to get going now”.

‘He’s saying similar things to what we are all thinking. As the season winds down, forward planning comes more to the front of your mind.

‘Opportunities are there with perhaps people out of contract or other players at clubs either wanting to move on, while some clubs want to change things around themselves.

‘It’s a good time to recruit constructively and every manager will say the same – if we can recruit early, we will.

‘That has to be your aim, it has to be your target, and it is something we are trying hard to prepare for and working hard towards.’

Despite the shortening of the transfer window, Football League clubs can still make loan signings until August 31.

Back on a busy deadline day in August 2017, Jackett recruited Oli Hawkins, Stuart O’Keefe, Matty Kennedy and Damien McCrory.

Meanwhile, Nicke Kabamba (loan), Carl Baker, Tom Davies and Michael Smith departed Fratton Park during a hectic turnaround.

Yet Jackett’s preference remains carrying out his recruitment as soon as possible rather than bracing himself for a last-minute rush.

He added: ‘I understand in some circumstances you have to leave it late on, but it wouldn’t be my choice and right now it isn’t our aim.

‘Our aim is to try to be as proactive if we can. Be proactive early and not leave it late.

‘Sometimes you can have an injury in pre-season, there can be a lack of form, different things happen.

‘If in pre-season there is a hole there, of course you have to work towards filling it, but the next few weeks consist of trying to be proactive if we can.’