Terry McPhillips says he’s delighted that a deal to bring Nya Kirby to the club on loan has come to fruition.
The manager started the ground work on the move prior to the January transfer window opening, discussing his plans with Crystal Palace’s Director of Under-23 Development Mark Bright, as well as the player himself.
“Nya is a highly-rated young prospect who we are delighted to bring to the club. It’s a deal we’ve been working on for a couple of weeks now, having initially met the lad before we played AFC Wimbledon,” McPhillips admitted.
“He’s an attacking midfielder who makes and scores goals, and he’s had great international experience with England at various youth levels, winning the Under-17 World Cup in 2017.
“We’ll meet him again down here in Portsmouth now and he’ll go straight into the squad for the match tomorrow.”
The arrival of Kirby follows on from striker Chris Long joining the club earlier this week, with the latter another player who could debut at Fratton Park.
“Chris is a talented player and he’s desperate to play. He’s turned down moves to other places to come to us, so fair play to him.
“He’s got great talent and he’ll get the opportunity. It’ll be up to him to show it.”
The two new signings bolster a Blackpool squad that continues to be beset by injury problems, with goalkeeper Mark Howard the latest.
“Mark’s very doubtful for this weekend,” the manager confirmed. “Chris Mafoumbi has waited patiently for his opportunities though and I think he’ll get another one on Saturday.”
The challenge that lies ahead at Portsmouth is one that the side will certainly have to tackle head on. The Seasiders lost narrowly to Pompey earlier this season and Kenny Jackett’s side now sit five points clear at the top of Sky Bet League One.
“They are top of the league on merit. They’ve got some good players, they’re well organised and they have a goal threat, having just scored five at Fleetwood recently.
“It’ll be tough, so we’re going to have to defend well and score a goal or two if we’re going to win,” McPhillips added.