Whittingham keen to change it up

Luke Rodgers Pompey exit will allow the Blues to bring in another loanee
Luke Rodgers Pompey exit will allow the Blues to bring in another loanee

Guy Whittingham surv-eyed his Pompey task and declared: I’m not afraid to make changes.

After Michael Appleton left for Blackpool on Wednesday evening, the caretaker Blues boss took charge of his first training session at Fratton Park yesterday and will be in the dugout for tomorrow’s trip to League One rivals Bury.

But after watching the two dismal performances in the past two games, Whittingham has already hinted he is looking to make changes in a bid to find Pompey’s missing spark.

And Luke Rodgers’ proposed departure on loan could yet free up a space in the squad for a new recruit even in time for the trip to Gigg Lane.

Whittingham said: ‘It’s definitely in my mind to make some changes.

‘You look at the past two or three performances, you analyse them and see where you can improve and what needs doing.

‘We’ve had a look at training so we have a couple of ideas and we will look in training again today.

‘All the players know that there are no excuses for not doing the basics right.

‘That is what we need to try to look at.

‘We’ve got some good footballers in the side but we need to match teams for attitude and for effort, first and foremost.

‘Hopefully after that, the talent we have got will help us win games.’

Whittingham – himself a feared striker during his playing days for Pompey – has already prioritised a new loan forward.

And when he was joint-caretaker manager last year alongside Stuart Gray, Whittingham restored Pompey’s two-man strikeforce with immediate results.

He recalled: ‘We did that last year but we had three or four strikers to choose from so it was easy to do. We have only two now.

‘Another striker is something we have been crying out for but, as we know, they are not the easiest things to get hold of.

‘You could see the difference when Wes Thomas came in and played. He sparked us off.

‘It would be great to find someone else. Whether we can or not, I don’t know at the moment.

‘But that is one of the priorities.’

Rodgers took to Twitter to announce his departure from Pompey yesterday, with Rotherham and Shrewsbury both vying for his services.

Thomas would be the ideal replacement, but is still recovering from a hamstring strain after his return to Bournemouth.

And while Whittingham was unable to confirm Rodgers had left the club, it’s clear he is looking for someone else to partner leading goalscorer Izale McLeod.

Whittingham said: ‘We’ve seen in the games that they haven’t quite gelled for whatever reason.

‘We will look again at our options.

‘We know we are a bit limited in terms of what we can do. To bring in anyone, we need to get people out on loan.’