Portsmouth boss: New recruits aren’t close

Kenny Jackett insists Pompey are not ‘necessarily close’ to further transfer-window signings.

Saturday, 19th January 2019, 8:18 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 5:59 pm
Kenny Jackett believes David Wheeler will remain for the rest of the season. Picture: Joe Pepler

But the Blues boss is confident David Wheeler will stay for the season’s remainder.

The hunt for additional recruits has gathered even more importance following defeat at Oxford United on Saturday.

The 2-1 reverse represented a second-straight loss for the League One leaders, who once again put in a worryingly out-of-sorts showing.

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Jackett has previously revealed he’s targeting up to two new faces as he seeks to bolster Pompey’s promotion challenge.

Although, following the Kassam Stadium defeat, he played down the possibility of imminent signings.

Jackett said: ‘There is nothing at the moment, we aren’t in a situation where anybody is necessarily close, although we are always trying and looking to strengthen.

‘If we can, we will.’

Meanwhile, Wheeler was handed a maiden Pompey league start at the Kassam Stadium.

Having arrived on loan from QPR in August, it represented the opportunity he had patiently waited for.

With Jamal Lowe pushed into the lone striking role, Wheeler was asked to occupy the vacated position on the right of the attacking three.

The pair switched at half-time, although the former Exeter player was substituted on 59 minutes.

It was the 17th appearance of a Pompey loan spell largely consisting of appearances from the bench.

The Blues have already lost loanees Joe Mason, Ben Thompson and Andre Green this month, the latter pair due to recalls.

But Jackett believes Wheeler will remain to contribute towards the ongoing promotion challenge.

He added: ‘There is a window, around about now, in terms of QPR’s ability to call him back, but obviously he won’t be able to play next Saturday (in the FA Cup).

‘I certainly hope he stays, I have heard nothing to the contrary. Of course I want him to stay.’