THIS WEEK IN 1996: Pompey skipper: Now we’re safe we must go out and spend

Guy Butters is mobbed by joyful fans as the final whistle secured Pompeys place in the first division for next season
Guy Butters is mobbed by joyful fans as the final whistle secured Pompeys place in the first division for next season
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Pompey skipper Martin Allen made a heartfelt plea to his bosses: Please spend money strengthening the team.

As he savoured the knowledge that he was not heading for second division football for the first time in his career, Allen pulled no punches.

He said: ‘I think the players feel the team needs to be strengthened.

‘We haven’t got a big enough squad. We need some more players.

‘That’s for the manager and the board to sort out.

For the moment the important thing is that we’re safe and that’s an enormous relief.

‘I didn’t fancy second division football but if it happened, I’d have accepted the fact and got on with doing the job I’ve come to do.

‘In many ways, it was probably as big a match as I’ve played in and that’s saying something. There was a lot riding on this game.’

But the goalscoring hero of the day, Deon Burton, was almost lost for words.

He said: ‘I don’t really know what to say. I hadn’t got worried at not scoring for so long, but even now I can’t believe it.’

Pictured: Guy Butters is mobbed by joyful fans as the final whistle secured Pompey’s place in the first division for next season