Portsmouth boost as Plymouth boss makes surprise squad depth admission, Bristol Rovers’ Joey Barton criticises Fleetwood owner's ambition as Sheffield Wednesday eye Hibs defender

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Saturday sees clubs return to League One action following their FA Cup exploits last weekend.

Here’s some of the top headlines that caught out eye ahead of tomorrow’s games.

Schumacher spells out squad concerns

Plymouth boss Steven Schumacher is concerned his current squad might not have the strength in depth of maintain their League One title charge.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As a result, he’s hoping additional funds will be made available in January to help sustain the Pilgrims’ impressive start to the season.

The Home Park outfit currently sit four points clear at the summit of the table.

Up until last weekend’s 5-1 FA Cup defeaet at the hands of League Two Grimsby, Schumacher’s side were 16 games unbeaten in all competitions.

That game stretched the resources of the League One leaders.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Plymouth manager Steven Schumacher Picture: GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty ImagesPlymouth manager Steven Schumacher Picture: GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images
Plymouth manager Steven Schumacher Picture: GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images

And with six players ruled out of their trip to Lincoln tomorrow, the Pilgrims boss believes efforts need to be made to strengthen in January.

Schumacher told Plymouth Live: ‘We are doing brilliant at the moment and the young lads who have stepped in and performed have done well, but I think it's clear for everyone to see that the squad isn't the biggest.

‘We are going to have to address that situation hopefully in January. The plans are in place to try and strengthen the squad if we can.

‘I think there is a little tiny bit left in the budget what was initially set. I don't know whether more funds become available for us in January because it's needs must.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

‘Going into the second half of the season, if you have these type of runs (of injuries) and you have got only two or three subs every week who are experienced players then that's not going to be enough.’

Barton makes ‘ambition’ claim ahead of Fleetwood reunion

Joey Barton has had a pop at Fleetwood owner Andy Pilley ahead of his first reunion with his former club.

Bristol Rovers welcome the Cod Army to the Memorial Stadium in League One on Saturday.

It will be the first time Barton will go head-to-head with his ex-employers, following his Highbury Stadium sacking in January 2021.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And it appears the former Newcastle midfielder wanted to get something off his chest in the build-up to the game.

Indeed, he claims he had more ambition for Fleetwood than the owner – and that was a key factor in his departure, which came shortly after Barton turned down the offer of a new contract.

Speaking to Bristol World, Barton said: ‘He (Andy Pilley) realised I wasn’t going to sign an extension so he decided to accelerate me out in January and I accepted that.

‘I must be one of the only managers to get removed for having more ambition than the owner and that’s the reality.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

‘In hindsight, I think he’s done me a favour in sacking us, there would’ve been some very difficult conversations because my ambitions for the group, and being better than the year before would’ve got me really frustrated.’

In his last full season in charge of Fleetwood, Barton got the Cod Army to the League One play-offs, where they were beaten by Wycombe.

Owls eye Scotland international defender

Sheffield Wednesday are reportedly keen on Hibs centre-back Ryan Porteous.

That’s according to the Daily Record, who claim Darren Moore faces competition from Luton, Stoke and Millwall for the Scotland international.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The 23-year-old is out contract in the summer and has put contract talks with the Easter Road outfit on hold.

However, he can sign a pre-contract agreement with any of the above in January ahead of a free transfer move.

Wednesday are currently third in the League One table – three points behind second-placed Ipswich and seven behind leaders Plymouth.