Cotterill deserves help - not being kept out of the loop

Steve's baby daughter made amazing progress this week, or so his wife thought

STEVE CANAVAN: It was a lot of rattle over just a little roll

Time for hard thinking and tough decisions as Pompey's season shows signs of unravelling.

Defeats and suspensions are undermining a dwindling, decimated squad.

The contract impasse with Michael Brown and Richard Hughes has left Pompey struggling for the midfield experience to stay competitive.

Without Brown sitting in front of the defence, it is no coincidence that the team has conceded three goals in four consecutive matches.

Steve Cotterill – a manager doing a fine job in trying times – deserves better.

With little going his way at the moment, he sounded just a little disillusioned by a lack of communication from above after the outrageously unlucky defeat against Hull.

Asked about various transfer rumours, including the possible sale of Liam Lawrence, he told reporters: 'I will probably be among the last to know.'

That sends a worrying message.

Surely owner Balram Chanrai or his representatives should be keeping the manager in touch with all developments.

If not, why not?

Communication is the minimum requirement, even if it is to tell him he has to sell two key players and there is no money to spend.

It is pretty clear, reading between the lines, that Pompey are still reeling from the financial madness of the previous regime.

Hence no new deals for Brown or Hughes – and probably the bare minimum of new arrivals this January.

It would not exactly be a bombshell if Pompey had to offload more of their higher earners as well.

They may well be tempted if bidders come in for John Utaka, David Nugent, Hayden Mullins or Liam Lawrence.

A shame because Pompey can play attractively and match any side in the division when fielding their best side.

But the season was always going to catch up on them with such a threadbare squad – and that is what is happening now.

Finding a midfield replacement for Brown and a good centre-half to plug a leaky defence must be the priorities if there is any money at all.

If that means selling someone like the pacy but erratic Utaka to finance the deals, then so be it.

The name of the game this season now is simply survival in the Championship in the hope that financial clouds will eventually clear.

That will be best achieved by keeping a good young manager and helping him at every turn.

Not leaving him out of the loop on major decisions.