Portsmouth signings?

Hart still expecting new faces

August 21, 2009

Portsmouth boss Paul Hart is confident of recruiting "one or two'' new players before the transfer window closes on September 1.

Brian Kidd, Paul Hart
GettyImages / JoePeplerHart still hoping to add to his squad.

The struggling south-coast club face a daunting trip to in-form Arsenal on Saturday, searching for their first Premier League points of the season.

Despite conceding just two goals in their opening two games, Hart's side have lacked cutting edge and ideas going forward.

Pompey have been linked with a move for Lens striker Aruna Dindane in a bid to increase their striking options.

Hart admits the Ivory Coast international is on his wish list, along with Bolton duo Danny Shittu and Gavin McCann.

And even though the club's takeover saga rumbles on, leaving Hart short of cash to spend, the Pompey manager is confident of landing some fresh faces in the next week or so.

He said: "Historically, a lot of the action takes place in the final week during the transfer window.

"We've got our targets and hopefully, over the next week or so those targets will be in here.

"We're still working on the fact we haven't got any money. Some of our targets from May are still there and some of those targets cost money.

"I think we've got to increase our options all over the park and I would like to bring in one or two players.

"They (Shittu and McCann) are on the list, as is Dindane.''

While Hart is determined to strengthen his squad, he is determined to ensure his existing charges are ready to fight for the club's Premier League future.

The former Nottingham Forest boss is under no illusions as to the size of the task facing him this term.

But he is calling on everyone connected with the Fratton Park club roll up their sleeves and battle for the cause.

Hart said: "I'd like to take the positives out of what we've done in very difficult circumstances.

"We created chances and, in my opinion, we should have won both the games we've played.

"We've also restricted the opposition to minimal chances - David (James) has had probably three saves to make in two games.

"But until we get some new blood in, this is what we'll have to do - graft and be organised.

"It has been universally accepted that it is a difficult time for this football club. You could roll over or you can stand up and fight.

"I think we're going to stand up and fight. The whole club and everybody connected to it are in a fight.''

Hart knows Portsmouth can no longer enjoy the comparatively lavish spending and success experienced under Harry Redknapp's management.

But he is determined to look to the future, and admits his immediate task will be keeping the club in the top flight.

He said: "My brief, I feel, is to keep us in the Premiership. But I'm one of about 12 or 13 other managers that have a similar brief.

"I wouldn't like to paint a black picture - we're all big boys are we know where we are.

"I think we should all know the facts and then everyone can deal with them.''

He added: "We have talked about the numbers in the squad - they're low. There's no point hiding it.

"It is a different club. We had money coming into the club and Harry was a great manager and was winning things.

"That's fine but this is where we are at. I can't paint a different picture.

"I'll use this analogy - if Abramovic pulled out of Chelsea, they would be a different club. Our owner basically pulled out of this football club nine months to a year ago. It had to change.''