Sunderland's League One promotion rivals Portsmouth will look to strengthen in January

Sunderland's rivals for promotion, Portsmouth, will be 'proactive' in the January transfer window but there won't be any panic buying on the south coast.

Tuesday, 18th December 2018, 6:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th December 2018, 6:33 pm
Kenny Jackett, Portsmouth manager.

Pompey lead League One ahead of the visit of Sunderland to Fratton Park on Saturday afternoon, Kenny Jackett's side four points clear of second-place Luton Town.

Sunderland will look to strengthen themselves next month but Jack Ross and Stewart Donald have spoken openly that there won't be a huge influx of new signings, with one or two in key areas more likely.

Promotion rivals Portsmouth are in the market to strengthen.

Their recruitment chief Phil Boardman told the Portsmouth News: "We are in a situation where we can use this transfer window to strengthen.

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"We would like to think we can build on a position of strength rather than perhaps repairing or plugging gaps, taking players we wouldn't necessarily have done if we hadn’t done our work in the summer.

"Hopefully it’s an opportunity where we can add – if we need to – the right players to strengthen rather than a repair job."

He added: "The squad is looking fairly well-balanced, it is fairly well-covered in terms of Kenny liking a 24-25 man squad. We are probably at that stage now.

"But we are looking to improve, we won’t sit on our laurels and do nothing. We are normally very proactive with our transfer business, covering for all eventualities and looking for players to make the team and squad stronger.

"Certainly, we’ll be proactive, yet are not in a situation this window where we need to panic or do anything short-term.

"There is long-term planning we’ve been carrying out over the last 18 months. ‘I would expect players to come in.

"How many can change quickly and will be difficult to say. With a settled squad at the moment, I would expect players to come in and hopefully strengthen because that’s what the window allows us to do."