'They need a shock' - Portsmouth legend's hard-hitting answer to Blues' faltering form as he uses prolific Peterborough striker to emphasis transfer window point

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Pompey remain top of the League One table but are in danger of dropping to fourth if teams below them win their games in hand

Guy Whittingham believes Pompey's players ‘need a shock’ to reignite their faltering League One title push.

And the Blues legend believes the best way to achieve that is to approach the remainder of the January transfer window with intent.

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The Blues’ business so far this month has seen them sign keeper Matt Macey as competition for Will Norris and hand former triallist Josh Martin an extension to his short-term Fratton Park deal. But with Pompey’s grip on the title race well and truly loosened following three defeats in five games, there’s widespread belief that reinforcements are needed ASAP to stop the rot.

The Blues are actively pursuing options, with replacements for Regan Poole and Alex Robertson high on the agenda. Yet Whittingham believes the Blues can’t afford to approach the remaining weeks of the window with frugality.

He’s of the opinion that Pompey need to show the current under-performing players that they’re serious about returning to the Championship this season. And the best way to do that is by demonstrating their ambition by introducing extra quality to the squad to shake things up.

Using prolific Peterborough striker Jonson ClarkeHarris as an example, the former Blues striker and manager told BBC Solent: ‘I think teams, after 10 games, with all the data that’s available and all the analysing that you can do, knew how Pompey played but Pompey were still able to play and create chances because they had the players on the pitch to do that

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‘That’s changed slightly now with those players and I think maybe, do you just go to the owners now and say, “right, this team, they’ve had these six games, they’re dropping off, they need a shock”. They need to realise that their performances are now not good enough and bring in, for example - and this is just an example - Jonson Clarke-Harris at Peterborough.

‘I think Charlton have offered £500,000 and he’s thinking it over. Go give them £500,000 and get him in. Show you mean business. None of you (the players) are performing well, you’re either part of this are you’re not.’

Pompey’s approach to transfers has changed in recent windows, especially since sporting director Rich Hughes was brought in from Forest Green Rovers in the autumn of 2022. The popular recruitment specialist has a tremendous track record of bringing in up-and-coming players who have the ability to walk straight into the first team and have the Blues competing at the top end of the table. But with Pompey’s title push haemorrhaging, Whittingham believes signings for the here and now are vital.

He added: ‘The here and now is important and I’ve only used Clarke Harris as an example because I’ve seen it (his availability) in the media. He’s 29 and it goes against what they want to do in terms of buying younger players, but, for now, it might be the right one (approach).

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‘You look at the side now, and are they trying to find someone on loan and stuff like that. You can’t guarantee it, but what you can say about someone like him, and I love Bishop to bits, I think he’s great, but I just think maybe a shock where the players go “wow, we better step up now, we need to start concentrating and stop playing as we have” is the best way.’

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