Whittingham renews Cooper loan

Shaun Cooper has extended his Pompey loan
Shaun Cooper has extended his Pompey loan

Pompey have extended Shaun Cooper’s stay for another month.

A hip injury ruled the versatile performer out of the trip to Oldham and also keeps him out of tonight’s visit of MK Dons.

However, caretaker boss Guy Whittingham has moved to renew the 29-year-old’s spell from Crawley.

Cooper started as a central midfielder on his return to the club where he rose through the ranks.

Recently, he was moved to right-back, though, where he has given his most encouraging displays.

At Hartlepool, Cooper dropped into the back four and helped the Blues pick up only their fourth clean sheet of the campaign.

The following match he collected an injury against Carlisle, although returned to light training yesterday.

And Whittingham has been eager to retain the services of the former Bournemouth stalwart.

He said: ‘Shaun’s loan has been extended for another month.

‘I think he has brought a bit of experience to the side and when he went out to right-back we looked as solid a back four as we have had all season.

‘Hopefully, nearer the weekend, he will be okay following his injury.

‘He was back in light training yesterday so tonight’s game is a bit too quick.

‘We are hoping he might be available for Saturday.’

Cooper is one of three loans in the 19-man squad at Fratton Park.

The others are Adam Reed and Patrick Agyemang, who have both featured regularly during their stay.

Like Cooper, Whittingham wants to keep the loan players for the remainder of the season.

Similarly, he is seeking to retain all those on month-to-month deals until the final match at Shrewsbury on April 27.

Although, there is still one slot available to take it up to the maximum of 20.

He added: ‘The lads who have signed the month’s contract we will keep them until the end of the season, for sure.

‘On the month-to-month ones, unless their parent clubs call them back, we will be keeping them until the end of the season.

‘We’re still looking at what we are going to do about the final spot in our squad.

‘We’re looking at a couple of things so will see how that one pans out overall.’