Portsmouth midfielder makes significant recruitment claim as Blues' summer transfer drive continues

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Joe Morrell is adamant Pompey are in a much better place than previous years heading into a critical League One campaign.

And the midfielder has lauded the work of sporting director Rich Hughes and boss John Mousinho for spearheading the Blues’ summer recruitment drive this summer.

So far, 10 new faces have arrived through the doors at Fratton Park in the first four weeks of the transfer window.

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Regan Poole became the latest addition to the squad after penning a two-year deal following his departure from Lincoln. The defender joined Will Norris, Conor Shaughnessy, Christian Saydee, Terry Devlin, Anthony Scully, Ben Stevenson, Gavin Whyte, Jack Sparkes and Kusini Yengi in making the switch to PO4 this summer.

While Morrell has insisted work had to be done in the window to improve the squad, he has been surprised with the speed of the signings.

He told The News: ‘It’s not surprised me (the number of signings) because I knew the club were going to be active this summer. We had a big turnover in players and that’s been the same for the last two summers I’ve been here.

‘I know how good Rich is at his job and I know how good the gaffer is at his job and we all knew the importance of getting them in. It’s surprised me about how early we’ve done it, because previous seasons under a different management team that hasn’t been the case and I think it’s really important.

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‘I’ve been on two pre-season tours when I’ve been here, one last year which was probably 14-15 senior players made up with youth players and triallists. This year we travelled to Spain with 25 senior players who are all going to play a part.

From left: Regan Poole, Gavin Whyte, Kusini Yengi, Will Norris.From left: Regan Poole, Gavin Whyte, Kusini Yengi, Will Norris.
From left: Regan Poole, Gavin Whyte, Kusini Yengi, Will Norris.

‘It makes a massive difference not just on the pitch but off it as well, you are able to get to know people, have a night out and that’s been enjoyable. You come round to the first game of the season, and you feel like you’ve been playing with them for a long time and that’s the makeup of a good team.’

Twelve-months-ago under Danny Cowley, Pompey had made just three signings by July 12, with Marlon Pack, Joe Rafferty and Zak Swanson the only arrivals.

And Morrell is adamant the Blues are in a better position than his side were this time last year.

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He added: ‘Every team has got that (two players in every position). You look at the Man City’s of the world and they’ve got options in every position and top players in each position. I feel like we’re getting towards that now.

‘The recruitment in the summer has been good and to get them in early is really good. They all seem like good personalities as well, which is something you need in a successful team.

‘We all want to be on that open-top bus at the end of the season, that’s what we’re all here for and that’s what I signed for. I feel we’re in a better place than we have been previously.’