No Portsmouth regrets at overestimating January loan-recruitment numbers

Joe Gallen has conceded Pompey recruited too many loan players in January.

Thursday, 9th May 2019, 9:30 am
Updated Friday, 10th May 2019, 12:00 am
Lloyd Isgrove, among four January loan arrivals, didn't get a game for Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler

But it’s a squad-bolstering policy he is convinced was correct during pursuit of success on numerous fronts.

The January transfer window saw the loan arrivals of Omar Bogle, James Vaughan, Viv Solomon-Otabor and Lloyd Isgrove.

All have, at times, been hampered by varying states of injury, nonetheless only Bogle has established a regular first-team presence.

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Predecessors from the opening half of the season suffered similar frustration, including Andre Green, David Wheeler and Joe Mason.

But Gallen is adamant the importance of keeping squad numbers high dictated overestimating the number of January loan recruits.

Pompey’s assistant manager said: ‘You are trying to read it, but it’s hard, how can you read anything?

‘You are reading who is going to be injured or who might be injured, you are covering for all eventualities, and we thought we'd rather have too many rather than too little.

‘I don’t think you can bring in too many. It's a bit selfish, I know, but we would rather it that way, them all fighting it out, training every day, competing every day and trying to get themselves into the team.

‘We would rather it be like that. So I think we have done the right thing. Too little can kill you, too many you can manage.

‘There are always a few injuries, while we had an indication with the Checkatrade Trophy progress that the games were totalling up. We thought we would take a few extra (loans) and spread it out a little bit.

‘They do come and expect to play, they come to play and if they don’t then they definitely let you know!

‘Dave Wheeler and Andre Green weren’t too pleased at not playing every single week, but they did understand the two lads ahead of them were doing particularly well. Maybe that caught them by surprise.

‘But that was the standard Jamal and Ronan were playing at the time.’

Isgrove last week returned to Barnsley having failed to make a single Pompey appearance.

However, Solomon-Otabor, Bogle and Vaughan remain – with their loans covering the Blues’ play-off campaign.

Gallen added: ‘Viv has been injured at times, while there were couple of games when he wasn't playing and was saying to me “Well, what’s going on?”.

‘But again he is understanding that Jamal and Ronan have had very good seasons.

‘With Lloyd, he would have thought he was going to get an opportunity – and again that didn’t quite happen.

‘James Vaughan up to a few weeks ago hadn’t started a game, yet is very professional and very, very honest of his assessment of the team.'