'No overhaul required': Rich Hughes' Portsmouth admission ahead of transfer window reopening this week

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The Blues signed 14 players during the summer 2023 transfer window

Rich Hughes ruled out a Pompey player ‘overhaul’ this summer ahead of their long-awaited Championship return.

But he admits the Blues must strengthen every position of their League One-winning squad.

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The transfer window reopens on Friday (June 14) following the traditionally quiet close season.

Rich Hughes doesn’t believe a Pompey ‘overhaul’ is required this summer. Picture: GettyRich Hughes doesn’t believe a Pompey ‘overhaul’ is required this summer. Picture: Getty
Rich Hughes doesn’t believe a Pompey ‘overhaul’ is required this summer. Picture: Getty | Getty Images

Nonetheless, Pompey have been working on their recruitment plans since winning the League One title against Barnsley eight weeks ago, overseen by their sporting director, along with new head of recruitment Brad Wall.

It remains to be seen whether there will be a flurry of early deals, as witnessed during last summer’s pivotal transfer window.

Although Hughes doesn’t expect recruitment to be on such a scale this time around, with a total of 14 arriving overall during that period.

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He told The News: ‘I don’t think so much of an overhaul is needed. We have a good group of the core players contracted and flexibility with those we’ve not decided to offer contracts to creating space within the squad.

‘I wouldn’t say it would be an overhaul, but we do want to freshen it up, we want to strengthen the squad.

‘I think we need to strengthen every position. That becomes the marker for success in any league. You must try to strengthen and I can't see any scenario around that, even though you’re hoping players develop and progress.

‘We want to try to fit into the mould we are working off, these young, hungry players that people can really get on board, notwithstanding the fact that there might be players there with a bit of Championship ringcraft we can also bring them in.

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‘Everything is case by case, people can get carried away in terms of experience, but it will be getting the right blend and balance.

‘The big thing will be can these players improve us in the Championship or do they have the capacity to grow to Championship players? That’s now the barometer for us and that will be the question we ask with everything.’

The Blues are presently finalising fresh deals for Marlon Pack and Connor Ogilvie, after 10 players were released in the aftermath of promotion.

And Hughes insists only those they believe can perform at Championship level will be offered Pompey deals this summer - whether internal or external.

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He added: ‘If we don’t think they can perform in the Championship and we don’t think they will ever have the capacity to perform in the Championship, we won’t bring them in.

‘They will be the two predicating factors on everything.’

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