Pompey chief highlights key transfer window success

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MARK CATLIN highlighted the importance of Pompey keeping their prized assets.

And the Blues chief executive underlined the role of the club's owners in ensuring the likes of Matt Clarke stayed at Fratton Park.

Pompey defender Matt Clarke

Pompey defender Matt Clarke

Clarke's future has been the subject of continued speculation, but the transfer window for permanent signings passed on Thursday with the 21-year-old staying put.

That, in a period where Kenny Jackett has added seven new faces, is a cause for celebration for Catlin.

He said: ‘People talk about the players brought in, but I think it’s important to realise the players we've managed to keep, so I don’t feel we weakened the squad in any way.

‘I actually think we have significantly strengthened it.

‘I never like to talk about individuals but there are certain players I think within the squad who have a high-perceived value. But the owners have made it clear to us that there’s only a need for a player to leave if that is recommended by the manager and the executive at the club.

‘At all clubs there is interest in good players – and we are no different. The owners are very much about the long-term stability of the club.

‘All I can say is we have never been put under any pressure whatsoever to sell any of our players.

‘It will be a decision for myself, Tony Brown (financeand the manager in deciding whether the sale of any player can go towards improving the team.

‘There are a lot of other factors to take into account in regards of the player, length of contract, and the benefit of a player leaving to the rest of the team.

‘Ultimately, all that is important to the owners and ourselves is Portsmouth Football Club. That’s our priority and not the wishes of individual players.’

Despite no final-day activity, Catlin believes Pompey can be pleased with their recruitment period where they’ve operated diligently.

He added: Kenny gave us a list of players that he was after this summer. We were so well prepared this year in regards of signings that were agreed and done, many of them before the transfer window even opened.

‘It wasn't about Thursday, we did our work early, and we can still loan. 

‘I have to keep stressing the words “hard work” because Kenny, Joe Gallen, the recruitment team, myself, Tony have consistently worked hard, even during last season to prepare for this window, and that work will continue now.

‘We’re already preparing for January.’