'We need more': Portsmouth boss John Mousinho outlines his squad plans for the Championship

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John Mousinho wants an expanded Pompey squad to tackle the Championship.

The necessity to fill nine-man benches on match days, coupled with previous lengthy injury lists has convinced the Blues boss he needs greater playing numbers next season.

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As a consequence, Mousinho is aiming to assemble a 24-26 strong squad over the summer to attack their long-awaited Championship return.

Pompey boss John Mousinho wants a bigger squad in the Championship.Pompey boss John Mousinho wants a bigger squad in the Championship.
Pompey boss John Mousinho wants a bigger squad in the Championship.

Pompey’s strength in depth this season was pivotal in the capture of the League One title, justifying Rich Hughes’ recruitment approach.

And Mousinho believes playing numbers must be increased once more to maintain the club’s exhilarating momentum.

Pompey’s head coach told The News: ‘We probably need two more players in the squad compared to this season.

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‘We started off with 24, which is probably a decent number, but when the injuries started to pile up, we had to make that 26.

‘It’s amusing now, but at one point our injured starting line-up was something like Swanson, Poole, McIntyre, Ogilvie, Lowery, Morrell and then a front four of Devlin, Scully, Anjorin and Lang.

‘You can’t do that with a 24-man squad and try to get away with it, hence why we increased the size of the squad towards the back end of the year.

‘We ended up with 24 fit pros, with Josh Dockerill coming back making it 25, yet still 6-7 on the injury list. We needed to bolster it with the five in January.

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‘Squad size is never an exact science and we’ll pick up injuries, but for the Championship it will be around 24-26, especially considering you can have nine on the bench now.

‘This season we wanted two players in every position and an extra man in the centre-forward spot, which is why we had the three.

‘We also had the cover early on with Toby (Steward) as a goalkeeper, you can recall them on loan, unlike outfield players.

‘We needed players in every position, yet only two outfield players were available for every game - Jack Sparkes and Abu Kamara.’

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The Blues have already released 10 of this season’s squad, yet only Sean Raggett, Joe Rafferty, Josh Martin and Lee Evans had featured in the first-team for League One.

Out-of-contract Joe Morrell and Zak Swanson may also depart, depending on how contract negotiations progress.

Mousinho added: ‘This season we needed both right-backs, we needed both left-backs, we definitely needed the centre-halves, the goalkeeper we didn't.

‘We then had Marlon out, Morrell out, Lowery out, Robertson out, Anjorin out, so we needed cover in the centre of midfield.

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‘Lang picked up an injury, Paddy did early in the season, Whyte and Scully also got injuries, we definitely needed that cover too.

‘We were plagued on the injury front and hopefully it won’t be as bad next season. Although you still need that cover in case those things do happen - and to keep squad competition.’

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