Pompey encouraged by player interest

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Sarah Standing (170841)
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Sarah Standing (170841)
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Pompey are making inroads in their desire to trim the over-staffed playing squad.

Kenny Jackett has made it clear he wishes to reduce numbers, particularly in attacking positions.

There are mechanisms available to clubs to make others aware of the availability of certain players

Mark Catlin

As a consequence, names of those the Blues are seeking to offload have been circulated among Football League clubs.

And in the past week there has been enough interest in the unspecified players to offer encouragement.

The futures of strikers Michael Smith and Curtis Main have long come under scrutiny following their disappointing time on the south coast.

Meanwhile, the ongoing involvement of Gary Roberts remains unclear.

However, the experienced midfielder’s absence from Pompey’s past two friendlies has been explained as a back niggle.

In addition, Coventry are continuing to monitor Carl Baker’s availability, an interest complicated by 12 months remaining on his Fratton Park deal.

Regardless of the identities of those Pompey are eager to move on, Catlin has been buoyed by initial feedback from interested parties.

He said: ‘As per Kenny’s recent comments on reducing the squad, we have received tentative interest in a few of our players.

‘These have arrived pretty much in the last week.

‘There are mechanisms available to clubs to make others aware of the availability of certain players.

‘Obviously decisions on players in and players out are the responsibility of the manager but I don’t envisage an exodus of players.

‘Following on from Kenny’s comments about certain areas, one or two may want to play regularly and perhaps that isn’t going to be the case here.

‘For all parties, it will be best to look for employment elsewhere.

‘We are currently not close to any player leaving, however what is close in this game?

‘Things can happen very quickly over a few hours, as has been the case with one of our players coming in this summer.

‘You can go from not being close to having a deal done –to suddenly one being agreed literally within hours.

‘Kenny has made it clear he is very happy with the squad in general. My assumption is there won’t be many movements in or out.’

In terms of fresh Pompey additions, Nathan Thompson, Tareiq Holmes-Dennis, Luke McGee and Brett Pitman have this summer joined.

Jackett is also on the look out for a central midfielder, with a replacement required for former skipper Michael Doyle.

However, Catlin would not be drawn on whether there will be more new arrivals before the season’s start.

He added: ‘That is a decision for the manager.

‘Issues on player recruitment will stay private until either we sign a player or Kenny is happy to disclose it.’