Portsmouth boss outlines number of signings now required - and exact make-up of squad for next season
Danny Cowley has detailed his squad Pompey plans - both in size and quality.
The Blues boss has made it clear he wants to see a squad of 22 players, supplemented by a handful of promising youngsters next season.
But Cowley has put paid to the notion he will be scrabbling around football’s bargain basement and the non-league game as he recruits this summer.
The 42-year-old has made it clear he’s looking for three or four non-league prospects, as well as some further young talent with potential to operate in the second and third tier.
Cowley then stated he will require further additions who know the League One terrain, and then some experience to give his options the right blend next term.
He said: ‘In terms of the make-up of the squad, we will look for two, three or four of these younger players.
‘They might not be available, though, and if they’re not available I’m not going to take them just for the sake of taking them.
‘I won’t take more than four, because ultimately then the training programme and quality of provision we can provide for them then gets watered down.
‘You don’t get the time they need to develop or the value.
‘We will then look to take some young players with the potential to play at this level and the Championship.
‘We will then take some ready-made players, because we’re Portsmouth Football Club.
‘Everyone at Portsmouth wants success today, so we have to sign some ready-made players.
‘That group of players will be in their prime, lived these levels before and have been successful at this level before.
‘We will then add a sprinkling of leadership to give us the experience we need, and then we will have a really nice balance to our group - and be ready on August 7 to hit the ground running.’
Pompey have 14 players contracted for next season, meaning an additional eight recruits are now required to get to two men in each position.
The reality is there will be further work required to get to the premium number, if young talent like new signing Liam Vincent goes out on loan next season.
Cowley added: ‘We’ll be lean and mean, I’m not scared of being lean and mean.
‘I would like two players in each position and will have some young, developing players.
‘For example, if we decide Liam Vincent goes out on loan then it will be three left-backs.
‘That will be the starter, the one competing to start and a developer out on loan.
‘Everywhere else we’ll have two players in each position.
‘At right-back we’ll decide with Haji Mnoga whether he’s going to play 35 games at right-back for us.
‘If he does, he’ll stay with us. If he doesn’t then we will look to loan him out because it’s a crucial part of their development they have a really relevant, competitive, challenging games programme.’
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
The News has launched a subscription offer which gives you unlimited access to all of our Pompey coverage, starting at less than 14p a day.
You can subscribe here to get the latest news from Fratton Park - and to support our local team of expert Pompey writers.