Pompey chief: Chaplin staying shows club strength

Pompey striker Conor Chaplin   Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey striker Conor Chaplin Picture: Joe Pepler
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Mark Catlin believes Pompey demonstrated their strength by retaining prized Conor Chaplin during the transfer window.

The progress of the Blues’ joint-top scorer inevitably continues to attract interest, in particular during the last month.

When you are in relatively good financial position as a football club, you can always negotiate from a position of strength and not weakness

Mark Catlin

However, both Catlin and boss Paul Cook have long insisted the highly-regarded 19-year-old is not for sale.

While Michael Smith, Ben Close and Adam Buxton departed Fratton Park on transfer deadline day, Chaplin remained.

It represents a boost to the Fratton faithful, with the home-grown youngster an immensely popular figure.

And Catlin is adamant the club’s ‘robust position’ enabled them to resist any overtures.

Pompey’s chief executive said: ‘The thing most important to us this season is success in the league.

‘Paul feels Conor is key to that so, from the start of the window, we were keen that he wasn’t going anywhere – and stuck to our word on that one.

‘I don’t think it’s fair to comment on interest in individual players, but it’s fair to say there has been interest in quite a few of our players over the window yet Paul didn’t let anyone out he felt was key in achieving our aim.

‘Most clubs tend to play on weakness at other clubs and we are not in a weak position, we are in quite a robust position to turn away any interest because financially it’s not something we need to do.

‘When you are in relatively good financial position as a football club, you can always negotiate from a position of strength and not weakness.

‘That is key to getting a good deal for the football club.

‘With Conor, Nicke, Eoin and Noel we have strikers with different attributes for Paul to select from.’