But the Blues’ head coach is adamant up to four new faces remains a realistic recruitment target.
Clubs have today been given the green light to strengthen, following the long-anticipated reopening of the transfer window.
In the case of Pompey, they must engineer departures from their existing playing budget before they can complete signings.
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Yet until their exits can be negotiated, Pompey themselves cannot seal deals for fresh arrivals.
Cowley told The News: ‘Obviously from a performance perspective, we would like to bring players in as soon as we possibly can.
‘Absolutely as the clock struck 12 and 2022 commenced, we would like to have been able to have players in the building – but it doesn’t quite work like that.
‘Particularly when you consider that probably we have to move out to move in.
‘So we are in that process where we don’t have complete control of offers as a consequence of needing to move players out.
‘But certainly we feel that we can improve our squad this month – I actually think it’s imperative that we do.
‘We are working incredibly hard behind the scenes. Actually, the fact we haven’t had so many games to prepare for over this period has allowed us to do even more recruitment work, which can only be positive.
‘I don’t think it would be healthy for me or right for me to put timeframes on when players arrive, because the truth is I just don’t know.
‘We have obviously done our necessary due diligence, we have spoken to players, to agents, to clubs, we know exactly where we are at.
‘We know when players will become available, we have a good guide with that, but we’re also respectful that it can change with a click of a finger.’
Certainly there will be no new faces before Monday’s trip to Cambridge United (3pm).
Having lost four successive games to coronavirus, it finally offers the chance of match action for the ninth-placed Blues.
Meanwhile, Cowley must wait before finalising the recruitment of long-standing targets.
He added: ‘We just have to do our due diligence and then roll with the punches, ready to react accordingly.
‘Patience isn’t a virtue I was born with, unfortunately!
‘All we can do at this end is everything within our powers to get into the best position we can with each deal. To control what we can control.’
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron