Whittingham: You can’t have too many strikers

Jake Jervis
Jake Jervis

Guy Whittingham added a seventh member to his large striking pool and explained: You can’t have enough forwards.

Jake Jervis will create even greater competition for places up front, once his Pompey switch has been given the all-clear by Fifa – as first revealed by portsmouth.co.uk

However, the former Elazigspor man, who has spent the past three days training with the Blues, is not expected to be eligible for tomorrow’s visit of Exeter.

Regardless, he joins Ryan Bird, Patrick Agyemang and John Marquis as attacking options for Whittingham.

In addition, fellow front men David Connolly and Tom Craddock yesterday returned to training following injury.

There is also Ashley Harris, although he yesterday joined Chelmsford on a month’s loan.

Jervis is to join Pompey initially until January, and for Whittingham, another striking presence is crucial.

He said: ‘Jake’s quick, he’s tall, he’s got a decent touch on him and he can finish.

‘He’s got the ability to hold the ball up. He’s not a Patrick Agyemang, for sure, and he’s not a David Connolly.

‘But he brings an ability to have another big man up front and can get on the end of things.

‘We’ve now got John Marquis on loan – and we don’t know whether we will be able to keep him – as well as Pat, David, Tom, Ashley and Ryan. But you can never have too many strikers.

‘That’s the end where you win games and we have got to make sure we have enough coverage for them.

‘For example, when David and Tom were out injured, that’s two out of your four main strikers missing.

‘It’s also important to have different players and different assets, because when you are playing a match you can look around at the bench and think “He gives us something different, let’s see how they cope with him”.

‘David and Tom were back with us yesterday and were fine. We’re easing them in.

‘David’s flying, Tom is not far behind and it’s good to have them back on a Thursday because then you know you can have a good look at them before deciding what to do with them at the weekend.

‘As for Ryan, he’s had that realisation now that he can score at this level and is buzzing around the place, but he might just have to be a little more patient.’

Meanwhile, Whittingham is not hopeful Jervis will be signed before today’s noon deadline to enable him to feature against Exeter.

He added: ‘He cancelled his contract in Turkey so we have to make sure there is nothing hanging on the back of that.

‘We can’t be in a position where two weeks down the line they say we owe them this, that and the other.

‘That’s the hold up. We are checking, checking, checking there’s nothing there and the FA and Fifa are involved.

‘I wouldn’t think he will be involved. I cannot see it being resolved before noon today.’