Boss: Owners can trust in me

Balram Chainrai met Steve Cotterill last week

Balram Chainrai met Steve Cotterill last week

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Steve Cotterill believes he has earned the trust of his chairman Balram Chainrai after his season’s efforts with Pompey.

The Blues boss met the club’s owners last week for discussions as he attempts to open more frequent lines of dialogue between them.

While Cotterill and Chainrai are not yet able to boast an orthodox manager and chairman relationship, things have definitely improved in recent times.

And Cotterill believes he has fulfilled the brief already this season in stabilising Pompey and steering them away from a second successive relegation.

Cotterill said: ‘I saw them (the owners) last week in the day for a few hours and, hopefully, maybe I will see them sometime next week.

‘I had dinner with them.

‘There is no point in me saying all of a sudden there is a big relationship I have with these guys because I haven’t known them long enough yet.

‘If it were to carry on growing that would be great.

‘But they are new into this so the big part of it for me is their trust in me because I think I know more about football than them.’

Chainrai and joint-owner Levi Kushnir made it clear they would not be prepared to fund a concerted effort for promotion this season with the club’s lack of activity in the January transfer window.

After the well-documented recent financial turmoil, Chainrai would perhaps argue that decision was a wise one as the club still attempt to operate within a strict financial budget.

But Cotterill’s ambition was to make an assault on promotion and he revealed his disappointment that Pompey’s campaign was not geared towards a genuine challenge with such a threadbare squad to choose from.

He said: ‘I think that I’ve more than achieved – along with the staff and players – what the owners wanted this season.

‘I think there would probably be more disappointment in my mind and my staff and the players than anybody else.

‘I know our fans would obviously want us to be up there and higher.

‘But you would have to ask the owners their thoughts on that. From my point of view it would have been nice to have won a few more and lost a few less.

‘But you can look at some of the runs we’ve had with no teams.

‘The first seven games – no team. That block of 10 games – no team. We’ve had injuries, suspensions, contractual issues. It’s ridiculous.

‘We cannot afford to go without those players so, really, when you look at it for those 10 games and seven at the beginning of the season, we have not competed in my eyes for 17 this season.

‘We haven’t been on a level playing field, really.’

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