Mark Catlin highlights key factor for Portsmouth's promotion bid
Mark Catlin has celebrated Pompey emerging from the January window a more powerful force.
And the Blues chief executive highlighted the importance of avoiding the loss of players which hit Kenny Jackett’s side so hard 12 months ago.
They also maintained the services of Ronan Curtis and have seen the treatment room clear, with a swathe of players returning to first-team contention.
It’s a far cry from 12 months again when key man Ben Thompson was recalled by Millwall, Jack Whatmough picked up a serious knee injury and wingers Andre Green and David Wheeler return to their parent clubs – a pre-cursor for a winless two months in the league.
And Catlin feels the difference in those scenarios shouldn’t be underestimated.
He said: ‘I would argue last January’s window was affected as much by players going out as coming in.
‘We lost two influential members of the spine of the squad in Ben Thompson and Jack Whatmough.
‘There was Andre Green and David Wheeler as well. It was more about the players going out than coming in last year.
‘We didn’t have a great start to this season and I think that was to do with the changes last summer, in regard to losing Matt Clarke and Jamal Lowe.
‘It’s not easy to replace players of that quality.
‘It was the same the previous January when we lost Ben and Jack. Thankfully this January we haven’t lost any.’
Jackett’s squad is awash with options at present, with six senior players unable to make the matchday 18 in the past two games
With form flying, the task is to maintain the charge on three fronts. The hope is there are the options at the Pompey boss’ disposal to do so.
Catlin added: ‘We’re going into February with a full squad and some healthy additions.
‘We appear to be a team who’ve turned the corner, are on the up and hitting form at the right time.’