Boss: No more loan army

Guy Whittingham believes Pompey will not be forced to scramble around in the loan market this season.

The Blues boss brought in a host of borrowed players from other clubs over the course of last season as he attempted to plug the gaping holes in his squad.

While some like Patrick Agyemang were successful additions, others were quickly sent back when it was decided they were not up to scratch.

Whittingham had few options last term in attempting to field a side every week.

But now he has had the chance to build his own squad, he expects to bring in loan signings in only an emergency.

‘We wouldn’t be looking to bring in any loan players – not immediately, anyway,’ explained Whittingham.

‘We haven’t had much choice in the past!

‘So I think we’ve done that a lot and brought in loan players.

‘But I think it’s important that you have your core of your own players to choose from and that you are happy with that core of players.

‘Bringing in a player on loan is great as long as that player is out there.

‘If that type of player is not out there, you have to make do with what you’ve got.

‘There will be times during the season when if you lose somebody or if things aren’t going quite right, you might want to bolster that.

‘So we’re going back to using them as emergency loans.

‘I would never rule out bringing in loan players but it’s not a route that we have decided we will go down as yet.’

Premier League clubs will name their 25-man squads when the transfer window closes at the end of August and will have a surplus of talented young players looking for regular competitive football and experience in the lower leagues.

But Whittingham does not appear to be in the market to offer them that opportunity.

He said: ‘There could be some fantastic young players available from the Premier League.

‘But unless you have watched them in quite a few games, which we wouldn’t have done, you are not quite sure how much league experience they’ve got.

‘League Two is a far cry from Premier League under-21 games. It is a long way from that.

‘The other thing is that if you get someone in on loan, the parent club is going to want them to play.’

Whittingham was unable to shed any further light on the bid to re-sign Ricardo Rocha yesterday but insists a centre-back will be the final permanent addition to his squad to take him up to 20 players.

He added: ‘I think we are done with one more signing.

‘The board have been fantastic. They have pulled out all of the stops for us.

‘We will hopefully get to 20 before the season starts and it would be great if we did that.’