Mark Catlin reveals Portsmouth's transfer policy for remainder of January window

Mark Catlin has admitted there’s money still available to strengthen Pompey’s ranks this month.

Sunday, 19th January 2020, 3:17 pm
Updated Sunday, 19th January 2020, 4:29 pm

However, the Blues chief executive stressed further additions will only be made if they are capable of improving the current starting XI.

He also said, based on past experiences, that the club was wary of making too many signings at this stage for fear of upsetting the dynamic of the current group.

Pompey, who currently sit seventh in the League One table – outside the play-off positions on goal difference – have to date brought in three new players in January.

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Steve Seddon and Cameron McGeehan have gone straight into the team following loan moves from Birmingham and Barnsley respectively.

Meanwhile, Reeco Hackett-Fairchild was snapped up from non-league Bromley after the Blues activated his release clause.

Manager Kenny Jackett is known to still be keen on strengthening his right-back options, while a left-sided centre-back remains on the shopping list this month.

But speaking in his January Q&A on the Blues’ YouTube channel, Catlin pointed out signings would not be made for the sake of it – they had to be better than what’s currently available.

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin

And following the arrival of six new faces last January, plus a sizeable turnaround in the summer, as little upheaval as possible was deemed the sensible approach going into business end of the season,

When asked if fans could expect further incomings this month, Catlin said: ‘Yes, if the right player, players do come up.

‘As you know, we've had three signings already this term.

‘Steve Seddon’s gone straight in, Cameron McGeehan has gone straight in and (we’ve been) consistent with what we said (regarding signings who will improve the team).

‘Reeco (Hackett-Farichild) is slightly different.

‘We had our eye on Reeco as a prospect for a good year or so, he's been on our radar.

‘We missed out on him in the summer for one reason or another but we have kept tabs on him.

‘And he's very much a project in the mould of Ronan Curtis, Jamal Lowe, you know, that type of one...

‘So, so far I think we've done well, a good mix of the players coming in.

‘But to get to the question, yes, there's money there if Kenny wants to improve the squad.

'But it will literally, probably when I say improve the squad, it will be to improve the starting XI.

'I think there’s a chain of thought that with the turnaround in the summer, and it took us a while to, you know, five, six, seven games to get going on the back of losing Jamal (Lowe), of losing Matt (Clarke) and the change around, that maybe previous Januarys have we changed too much?

'We’ve brought in good players on paper but has it changed the dynamic of the squad?

‘So we've got to be wary of that as well.

‘The two that have come in (to the team) seem to be doing well – the club itself, the team itself, we're on an amazing run of form, so you don't want to change too much when you are in that run of form because it can do more harm than good.

‘And if you look at our existing squad, there's already quite a bit of depth there.

'So, yes, we are looking for players to bring in in certain positions.

'Will we bring them in? Not for the sake of it.

‘They have to be better than what we've got.’

Pompey are on a five-match unbeaten run in all competitions, while only two defeats have been registered since September 28.

Barnsley right-back Dimitri Cavare has been linked with a move to Fratton Park this month, while moves for centre-backs Aaron Pierre (Shrewsbury) and Manny Monthe (Tranmere) have also been reported.