‘One of best’ – Portsmouth midfielder makes bold squad claim that will no doubt surprise promotion-chasing Rotherham, Wigan, MK Dons, Oxford, Sunderland & Co

Louis Thompson believes Pompey will soon prove they have ‘one of the best’ squads in League One.

By Sam Cox
Friday, 25th February 2022, 5:00 pm

And with Joe Morrell set to return after serving a three-match-ban, ex-Norwich man Thompson is adamant competition for places is now among the fiercest in the division.

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That number currently sits at 17, with Shaun Williams, Kieron Freeman and Michael Jacobs all currently on the treatment table.

But this shouldn’t alarm supporters, with Danny Cowley deliberately implementing a strategy of investing in quality over quantity during the January transfer window.

Across the eight players who departed Fratton Park last month, no-one transferred to a higher division – nor did any move to a team higher than Pompey in the table.

Indeed, the likes of John Marquis, Lee Brown and Ellis Harrison left for League One strugglers Lincoln, AFC Wimbledon and Fleetwood respectively, while Paul Downing and Alex Bass completed loans to League Two.

Louis Thompson has welcomed the return of Joe Morrell, following the latter's suspension. Picture: Joe Pepler

In contrast, the Blues raided clubs sitting higher than them in the football pyramid to replace them.

Ollie Webber arrived from Premier League Crystal Palace shortly after the Championship loan acquisitions of Tyler Walker (Coventry) and Hayden Carter (Blackburn).

And to conclude their January business, the club completed swoop for Denver Hume and Aiden O’Brien from Sunderland.

Although this saw Cowley’s side exit the window with less players, Thompson said the individual quality now registered at PO4 would drive the club forward.

He said: ‘We welcome anyone coming back at the moment.

‘We’re light on numbers and a player of Joe’s quality is always a joy to have in the squad.

‘We’ve been doing well and any addition to that will add to our squad for the upcoming games as they’re coming thick and fast at the minute.

‘I relish any challenge. I think we’ve had a strong squad from the get-go and when we have Shaun Williams back fit as well, we’ll see that Pompey's squad is one of the best in terms of competition in the league.

‘We’ve all got to embrace the challenge and push each other. From that, we’ll get the results.’

It’s fair to say Thompson’s career has been plagued with injuries so far.

His progress at Norwich, and throughout loan spells away from Carrow Road, had been hampered by time spent in the treatment room.

However, the 27-year-old has put recent troubles behind him by starting Pompey’s past three fixtures, and completing 90 minutes against Salop on Tuesday.

‘I’m in a good place. I’ve churned out in the last few weeks, Saturday, Tuesday and Saturday games, which are now ticked off,’ Thompson added.

‘A further 90 and extended minutes against Shrewsbury, so I’m in a good place and I’m enjoying my football.

‘I think things are going well for me at the moment.’

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