Wilson’s Wisdom: Loans need to be the instant answer

Miles Storey. Picture: Joe Pepler
Miles Storey. Picture: Joe Pepler
Have your say

There was another smattering of outcry this week.

Andy Awford’s decision to terminate the loan of Miles Storey was not universally popular among Pompey fans.

The Swindon man showed flashes of quality but never found consistency.

Three goals and five assists from 22 appearaces added up to a decent return, but nothing spectacular.

The 20-year-old made 13 starts, nine substitute appearances and his three goals came when he started games but Awford decided he needed more experience.

Perhaps a key part of the decision came down to the fact that Storey did not fare so well away from Fratton Park – much like Pompey this season.

He started five games away from home and he failed to score.

In his defence, he’s not the only one to have struggled to find the net for Pompey on their travels.

Given a longer stay, Storey would develop and improve. But a loan player must have an instant impact.

As we’ve seen this term, that’s no easy feat. In fact, it’s decidedly hit and miss.

Michael Drennan briefly came in and made little impression, while Matt Fish, Lee Holmes and Alex Wynter have all been returned like those Christmas gifts that you didn’t want.

That’s left Paul Robinson and Marcus Bean carrying the loan flag – for the time being anyway.

It’s almost certain that Awford will bring in more temporary recruits during January. He’ll probably do it again when the emergency loan window re-opens.

The tricky part with loan recruits is moulding them into the plans when they are often a short-term fix.

And that may require a different approach from Awford.

Wynter and Storey might have felt privately that the move to Pompey was to improve their fortunes at their respective clubs upon their return.

The difference for older players like Robinson and Bean is that they were playing for potential permanent contracts in the here and now.

Perhaps that makes a difference to their commitment to the cause and they feel more included, or maybe they are simply better suited to what is required in League Two?

It’s all open to debate.

Young players have huge potential and can work spectacularly, but they also tend to carry more risk.

Pompey and Awford realise that if they are are going to borrow someone, they need them to fit in straight away and improve the team – not the squad. The decision to end Storey’s stay was perhaps the most divisive, but we will get a better view of the whole picture over the coming days to draw our conclusions.

If, for example, Matt Tubbs arrives to replace him, many would feel it improves Awford’s options considerably.

But at the moment, it’s safe to say that the jury is out.

At the root of it all is that Pompey have to rely so heavily on loan signings.

They are not alone of course, but the juggling of short-term arrivals makes it so much harder to find that continuity.