Date: 6th December 2007 at 9:46am
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Some of the Pompey ‘fringe players’ could be looking at January exits, but personally I do not see many of our first team players as ‘fringe players’ anyway. In terms of not getting much action, they would be considered ‘fringe players’ but in terms of actual quality very few are the type of player that will rarely, if ever be unlikely to get a look in again – most can and will do a job when asked.

This is why Sol Campbell has told The News that no players should be allowed to leave in January, as they will be needed to cover for the African nations and the remainder of the season ahead: ‘we are losing the guys for a month or six weeks to the African Nations but it’s not that bad.

‘We’ve got players who can fill in, great pros, so it won’t hit us that much.

‘The back four are the key though, Benji is not going while there are guys who can come in and stand up for themselves.

‘That’s what it’s all about, a good squad.

‘The quality of players is a lot better in the squad, everyone is there.

‘What we can’t afford to do, though, is lose a couple of the fringe players.

‘It would be suicidal to let players go, we need them all here.

‘It’s about having a strong squad, keeping a strong unit, everyone is important’.

In theory this makes a lot of sense and I would like nothing more than to have all players stay, but the reality is even if Pompey want to keep them, some will not be willing to stay if they might only play a bit part which is understandable. At the same time in order to get where we want to be we need a quality squad – which we do – as a lot of players will be needed.

Even if players do remain Campbell still expects others to arrive, and he feels this is needed if we are to kick on from last season and really make a fist of it from January onwards: ‘hopefully lessons have been learned from last year when money was not spent in January.

‘We’ll see if the money is available because we need to strengthen our side, it will be bad if no players came in.

‘But I can’t see that happening’.

Players will arrive in January; I would bank on it and think we could see 4 or 5 sign, even if some were only loan deals with potential permanent deals at the end of them.

January will be an exciting month, but for the time being I just want to get through December, which is looking like being a possible season definer…


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