Pompey boss: I wasn’t prepared to wait

Guy Whittingham. Picture: Joe Pepler
Guy Whittingham. Picture: Joe Pepler

Guy Whittingham has defended his whirlwind transfer business and insisted: We’re not prepared to hang around.

The Pompey boss has already done some sterling work in his recruitment programme – with 10 players signed up for next season.

But while other managers may have gone for a more patient approach in securing signings, Whittingham has not wasted any time.

It’s a bold transfer strategy with some suggesting he may have been better off biding his time.

But Whittingham insists he wants his squad in place as soon as possible to give him time to prepare for next season’s League Two campaign.

The Blues boss said: ‘Managers can afford to wait when they have got a core of their squad together. We didn’t have that.

‘We finished the season with three players, so we had to build a completely new squad.

‘I don’t think you would get better players if you wait around.

‘The better ones would go – that’s our way of thinking.

‘You might get a better player from a higher league later in the summer who suddenly wants to go.

‘But we needed people now and we need to know as early as possible what our team is going to be.

‘Then we can maybe have the luxury of waiting for two or three later on. But we’re ahead of schedule.

‘It was important we got some players in early because it benefits us as a club and them for their careers.

‘We’ve done pretty well from that point of view.’

Whittingham’s hard but fair attitude has already seen him move on from targets who wanted more time to weigh up their options.

And the majority of Blues fans will be delighted the manager is playing hardball on negotiations as he works with what he considers a competitive budget.

He explained: ‘There have been players we have spoken to who have been offered more elsewhere than we can offer.

‘That has happened on a few occasions but then you move on. They saw Portsmouth as a big club who should be paying big salaries.

‘Some came to us at first and said “we understand you are paying this, that and the other” and we had to tell them “no, we’re not”.

‘Word somehow got around that we would be paying big money in League Two. That’s not the case.

‘We have to stick to the budget we’ve got, which is a realistic one and a competitive one.’

While Whittingham is expecting his recruitment drive to slow down, he is keen to get more deals tied up with two key men from this season lined up for new contracts.

He said: ‘Johnny Ertl and David Connolly are both ongoing and there are one or two more out there that we’re talking to.

‘So we will see what next week brings.’