From the ridiculous to the sublime: Portsmouth boss reveals reasons behind speeding up their previously slow transfer window activity

Pompey’s frustrating summer recruitment lull was transformed by a hectic 13 days which yielded six new signings.

Tuesday, 2nd August 2022, 4:55 am

For Danny Cowley, it’s a turnaround which highlights the transfer window’s unpredictability – and impossibility to accurately plot.

The Blues have now captured nine players since last season ended, with seven handed debuts in last weekend’s 3-3 draw at Hillsborough.

The most recent was Dane Scarlett, a player Cowley had pursued since February, while he remains in the market to boost the Blues’ winger options.

But while the head coach was irritated over the length of time it took to recruit, he acknowledges the market isn’t as straightforward as some think.

Cowley told The News: ‘Naturally as you get closer to the season, the chain starts to move.

‘It hasn't been for want of trying, we weren’t on our sunbeds in May and June, let me assure you! We were working incredibly hard.

‘I have always said the quicker you get the players into the building the more chance you have for success – but some became available later in the window.

Last month's loan signing of Josh Griffiths sparked a flurry of new faces at Fratton Park, with six arriving inside 13 days. Picture: Malcolm Bryce/ProSportsImages

‘The transfer window always unfolds in the same way. Firstly it’s the free agents – and we missed out on a couple we would have liked – then sometimes one or two are surplus to requirements at their clubs which maybe you can take.

‘Then there’s the loans, which have been slow this year because most of the loans we want are young players involved with their countries in age-group tournaments.

‘Take the under-19 group which went to the European Championships and won it. That then meant they had to take a break off the back of it and a long season – and they’ve only just gone back to their clubs in the last two weeks.

‘They are starting to become available now, which is how we managed to get Dane.

‘While Michael (Morrison) had lots of Championship interest, even on the morning he did a medical with us.

‘He became available after looking like going elsewhere. Some things crop up, you cannot plan them.’

Since July 14, Pompey have signed Josh Griffiths, Joe Pigott, Josh Oluwayemi, Colby Bishop, Michael Morrison and Dan Scarlett.

They have joined Marlon Pack, Zak Swanson and Joe Rafferty, who previously arrived.

Cowley added: ‘You must do your due diligence, you have to work really, really hard, you must make sure you know all the players that are available – and when they are keep your ear to the ground and act accordingly.

‘We had a target list of 5-6 players for each position and I only ever worry when that becomes one or two, which it does.

‘But sometimes there are players not on that target list because they weren’t realistic – yet all of a sudden become realistic.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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