What the future holds for Portsmouth's ex-Shrewsbury defender James Bolton after being left at home for win at Burton

Kenny Jackett insists he's not ‘actively looking’ for James Bolton to depart Pompey before the transfer window closes.

Monday, 5th October 2020, 6:30 am
Updated Monday, 5th October 2020, 10:26 am

The right-back was omitted for a third straight match-day squad in the 4-2 win at Burton Albion on Saturday.

Following the arrival of Cameron Johnson from Accrington earlier this summer, Bolton has been pushed down the pecking order.

His last outing was in the 4-0 defeat to Brighton in the Carabao Cup when Johnson was cup-tied.

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Bolton didn’t even travel to Burton despite being fully fit.

Instead, youngster Haji Mnoga was 19th man, with the ex-Shrewsbury man remaining on the south coast with Paul Downing and Duncan Turnbull.

Allowing Bolton or Downing to leave before the window slams shut on Friday, October 16 would not only give Jackett more leeway in his budget but give him extra space in his squad.

James Bolton. Picture: Joe Pepler

Although Jackett didn’t rule out Bolton completing a loan move away from PO4, he stressed the former Gateshead man must fight to win a starting spot back at Fratton Park.

The boss said: ‘Haji was 19th man. We have no injuries and James Bolton and Paul Downing were back at home, as well as Duncan Turnbull.

‘I felt that it would do Haji good in terms of the experience, particularly if you're not going to use the senior players.

‘They're there, working hard, are fit and hope we don't get any injuries over the course of the season, although that's obviously unlikely.

‘We'll see (if Bolton will go out on loan). I've obviously brought Callum Johson in and James has got a fight for his place.

‘Haji is around as well. You do need a group and a squad as well. It very much depends on what type of calls we have over the next two weeks, if any at all.

‘But, no, I'm not actively looking to move James Bolton out, definitely not.’

The Blues still want a new centre-midfielder, with Leeds' Mateusz Bogusz the latest linked.

Any deals Pompey complete will be ‘minimal’, though.

Jackett added: ‘If we can add a player or two that improves us then great. I've said all along it will be minimal changes if there are any.

‘I wouldn't say we are completely done but it will be very small numbers in terms of players in and out.

‘We've done our business in terms of the group.’

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