Pompey boss eyeing loan exits before Cup clash

Liam Walker has had limited chances in the first team. Picture: Allan Hutchings (122823-793)
Liam Walker has had limited chances in the first team. Picture: Allan Hutchings (122823-793)

Michael Appleton is targeting loan exits for his fringe players before the week is out.

So far a staggering 36 players have represented Pompey this season, of which seven have subsequently left Fratton Park.

The latest arrival is Scott Allan, who turned in an outstanding second debut for the Blues at Sheffield United on Monday night.

He was recruited at the 11th hour after a loan deal for Chris Maguire was scrapped following a training ground injury with Sheffield Wednesday.

It leaves Appleton still short of a strike partner for Izale McLeod following Wes Thomas’ return to Bournemouth at the end of last week.

Meanwhile, Luke Rodgers is seemingly out-of-favour.

However, with his squad at its maximum of 20 at present, there must be departures before there can be any new blood into Fratton Park.

The Blues boss has revealed, encouragingly, there is interest in ‘one or two’ of his existing squad in terms of a short-term loan.

Such a scenario would help him create the space he craves, as well as ensure nobody would have to leave permanently.

And ideally he would want something finalised before Saturday’s visit of Notts County in the FA Cup.

He said: ‘I think we will be able to do that. It’s just who to let out and who to let them out to as getting the right club is important as well.

‘I am sure there will be one or two who will go out and get some games because I cannot guarantee them any over the current months.

‘That doesn’t mean they aren’t going to get games in the future, it’s just at the minute. If we do that – and when we do that – then we’ll bring some quality in.

‘I am looking at it happening possibly before the end of this week.

‘It’s all right saying you’ll get some people out but people have got to want them as well and it’s not as easy as that.

‘There are one or two things going on and clubs are interested in our players.

‘So if we can pick that up towards the end of the week and give them a bit of an opportunity elsewhere just to free up a bit of business then great.

‘If there are opportunities for some of the players who have not played much football to get a bit of game time then I will be delighted to let them go.’

The likes of Jack Compton, Liam Walker, Josh Thompson and Rodgers have barely featured during the past month or so.

However, the reality is some may still be required this weekend against Notts County.

Pompey are waiting to see if Carl Dickinson and Allan will be allowed by their parent clubs to become cup-tied.

Mikkel Andersen has already been instructed not to feature by his club Reading.

That will put Simon Eastwood in the frame from his third appearance in a third different cup competition this season.

In addition, Darel Russell is still not yet ready to return from the hamstring injury he picked up against Scunthorpe last month.