Angry Lawrence calls for club backing

Milan Lalkovic. Picture: Shaun Boggust

Pompey v Walsall: Pre-match talking points

Liam Lawrence has launched a blistering attack on Pompey over their treatment of Michael Brown and Richard Hughes.

The Blues midfielder is incensed at the prospect of neither of his team-mates playing for the club again.

Steve Cotterill has admitted he cannot see the contract wrangle being resolved.

In the meantime, it has left Pompey with a squad of just 17 players.

If Brown and Hughes play one more match for the Blues, they would be entitled to new deals on wages the club cannot afford.

As it stands, there have been no talks between the midfield duo and chief executive David Lampitt for a month.

That is despite Hughes stating he wants to waive the clause in his current deal which would entitle him to a new contract next season at his existing wage level.

Instead, he says he is keen to take a 50-per-cent pay cut.

The continuing stalemate has prompted an angry outburst from Lawrence.

He said: 'It's very, very, very frustrating with Brownie and Hughesie.

'I know for a fact Hughesie has offered to take a 50-per-cent pay cut to sign and the club are doing nothing to meet him anywhere in between.

'People might be scared about saying some stuff but I'm not.

'I just wish the club would sort it out because they have a good set of players here and if they add to it and sort Brownie and Hughesie out we could really go places.

'I don't want the fans to think Brownie and Hughesie are asking for mega money when they are not.

'They have offered to take massive, massive cuts but the club are not even speaking to them.

'They are not being greedy and I just wish the club would come back and say "right, okay then let's talk about this" or "let's try to do this", but they are just not interested.

'These players come down here every game, they are in the dressing rooms, they travel to away games, they are part of things, yet they can't play, they can't do their job.

'It really makes me angry.

'The manager is working with both hands behind his back at times and it is frustrating because he is a good guy. He's professional and just wants this club to do well.

'They need to back us.

'I can't say too much or I will probably get fined but they have got to start with what is here already with Brownie and Hughesie.

'Brownie was a massive part of things when we went on that great run, Hughesie was doing his part and is a really, really good player.

'They have offered to take cuts, massive cuts. Not just 10 per cent or 20 per cent but 50-per-cent cuts.

'The club are still not doing anything, though, so I would urge them to sort it out.'

Lampitt is currently out of the country.

However, in an interview with Radio Solent earlier this week, he insisted the club had done all they could.

Lampitt, left, said: 'We think we've made what we consider on behalf of the club very reasonable offers to the players to try to get through this issue.

'The players at the moment are resisting those offers and that is their prerogative.

'It is a difficult one and I would like to think those players haven't played their last game for Portsmouth.'