Portsmouth recruitment chief: We're in the January market for new players

Pompey's recruitment chief has pledged a '˜proactive' January transfer window for the League One leaders.

Tuesday, 18th December 2018, 1:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 10:04 am
Summer arrival Craig MacGillivray

But Phil Boardman is adamant there will be no panic signings or short-termism in pursuit of bolstering their position of strength.

A productive summer saw the arrival of six permanent signings, later joined by an additional four on loan deals.

That impressive recruitment drive has created the backbone of a team which have occupied top spot for approaching two-and-a-half months.

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Summer arrival Craig MacGillivray

The transfer window is scheduled to re-open at midnight on Tuesday, January 1, inevitably prompting a flurry of squad strengthening across the leagues.

And Fratton Park's head of recruitment has ruled out the progressive Blues merely watching content from the sidelines.

Boardman said: '˜We are in a situation where we can use this transfer window to strengthen. 

'˜We would like to think we can build on a position of strength rather than perhaps repairing or plugging gaps, taking players we wouldn't necessarily have done if we hadn't done our work in the summer.

Phil Boardman has overseen Pompey's recruitment since September 2017

'˜Hopefully it's an opportunity where we can add '“ if we need to '“ the right players to strengthen rather than a repair job.

'˜The squad is looking fairly well-balanced, it is fairly well-covered in terms of Kenny liking a 24-25 man squad. We are probably at that stage now.

'˜But we are looking to improve, we won't sit on our laurels and do nothing. We are normally very proactive with our transfer business, covering for all eventualities and looking for players to make the team and squad stronger.

'˜Certainly, we'll be proactive, yet are not in a situation this window where we need to panic or do anything short-term. There is long-term planning we've been carrying out over the last 18 months.

'˜I would expect players to come in. How many can change quickly and will be difficult to say. With a settled squad at the moment, I would expect players to come in and hopefully strengthen because that's what the window allows us to do.

'˜In terms of numbers, I am not sure.

'˜It's difficult to say at this stage, we are in the middle of December, there's a lot football still to be played between now and the end of January.

'˜There can be injuries, suspensions, a lot of factors which can affect what business we do in the window.

'˜But we will be prepared for it.'

Last January marked a disappointingly low-key window for the Blues, with four loan signings.

Boardman, though, believes the month naturally tends to be a quieter period for all clubs.

He added: '˜We took 10 players in the summer, if you include the loans.

'˜Most clubs will try to predominantly do as much of the work as possible in the summer. Where they are in the league and what has happened between the summer and January window will then influence how much they need to act.

'˜Yes, it was quieter for us last January, we did quite a lot of work this summer.

'˜Generally it makes sense the clubs do the majority of the work in the off-season, which happens naturally with contract situations and changes in terms of leagues.'