Pompey after quick-fix keeper

Jamie Ashdown. Picture: Barry Zee
Jamie Ashdown. Picture: Barry Zee

POMPEY’S hunt for a keeper is set for a quick conclusion.

Andy Awford is confident he will have a deputy for Paul Jones in place for tomorrow’s clash with Cambridge.

But that man will not be Jamie Ashdown after the former Blues player was sounded out over a short-term return.

Michael Poke is facing a period on the sidelines with an Achilles injury. That leaves just Academy youngster Alex Bass as cover for Jones.

Awford is happy to go with the teenager on the bench if necessary for the U’s meeting. But he feels there is likely to be a new face in the squad.

Awford said: ‘I rang Jamie, but it’s not going to happen.

‘It would’ve been a couple-of-weeks job for him if he was sat at home twiddling his thumbs, but he’s not. So we’ll look elsewhere and get someone in.

‘It’s a real short-term fix because Pokey is going to be out for three or four games.

‘It’s just someone coming in and understanding that situation. I’m hoping it can benefit someone and us.

‘We have our eyes on a couple and will wait for them to come back to us. I won’t guarantee them anything. If Alex Bass ends up on the bench we’ll go with that. It’s not a crisis.’

Pompey have until midday tomorrow to recruit a loan player, with out-of-contract additions needing to be signed by midday today.

Any players contracted to a club on September 1 can’t sign anywhere else until the new year – another problem for Awford.

Keeper coach Scott Bevan isn’t an option after he retired and received compensation – ruling him out from playing in the pro ranks.

Awford added: ‘If I was loaning a player and they weren’t going to play, you’d think why are you loaning them? If a deal extends beyond the window they can’t go elsewhere.’