Transfer blueprint delivered as Blues step up player hunt

Bournemouth player Wes Fogden
Bournemouth player Wes Fogden
Rotherham boss Paul Warne. Picture: Kirsty Edmonds

Warne welcome for Pompey boss as he makes Rotherham return

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MARK CATLIN has laid down a ‘three-pronged attack’ as Pompey step up their recruitment drive.

The Blues chief executive believes a triple-headed policy can pay dividends in a busy period of transfer activity.

Pompey are moving ahead quickly with their plans to strengthen this month in an effort to find impetus over the second half of their League Two campaign.

Jake Jervis is the latest name to re-emerge with Richie Barker confirming he is keen to bring the striker to Fratton Park.

Swansea’s Daniel Alfei joined on a month’s loan from Swansea last week, with assistant boss Anthony Williams confirming similar deals are in the management team’s sights.

Bournemouth’s Wes Fogden is one player who is generating interest with Eddie Howe happy to let the midfielder leaver the Championship outfit.

Catlin believes a recruitment drive is a crucial strand of Pompey’s plans.

But that has to be married with moving players out this month – and getting the best out of squad which has under-performed this season.

Catlin said: ‘To me it’s a three-pronged attack. One, we need to get out the players who Richie perhaps doesn’t think will feature in his plans.

‘Two, the money in the budget we have left over we need to use wisely to get the right people.

‘And three, we need to make the players we’ve got better.

‘Results haven’t been fantastic but the individual players are starting to fulfil their potential.

‘That’s what we need to work on moving into 2014.’

With Thery Racon agreeing a deal until the end of the season, the futures of Marcos Painter and Shaun Cooper will now come under the microscope.

Both players’ deals come to a close this month with Barker having to decide whether to keep both or sacrifice them to free up space in his squad.

It’s an approach which could also be employed with the players whose deals are up at the end of the season like Yassin Moutaouakil, Phil Smith, Bondz N’Gala and Ryan Bird.

John Sullivan is also generating interest from Cambridge in terms of a temporary move.

Catlin highlighted Pompey’s following this season as a key factor in allowing manoeuvrability in recruitment.

Catlin said: ‘Marcos Painter and Shaun Cooper are up for renewal and that is the manager’s choice.

‘There is manoeuvrability because Guy (Whittingham) never spent all of his budget.

‘Because of how good the fans and sponsors have been with us, it’s given us flexibility we didn’t think we’d have.

‘Our average attendance at the moment is up around 15,300 which is phenomenal.

‘It’s the fans who have given us the breathing space and flexibility to improve the squad in January.

‘It’s plainly and simply down to them – so thanks to the fans.

‘Loans out frees up money which can be spent elsewhere.

‘Really it’s about getting players on the right money.

‘The board knows Richie goes through a very thorough process with the players he brings in. There won’t be kneejerk reactions and he would have done his homework with players.’