Cotterill draws up pre-season contingency plans

111367-839_CARDIFF_POMPEY_SR_16/4/11'Cardiff City vs Pompey.'Steve Cotterill on the touchline.''Picture:Steve Reid 111367-839
111367-839_CARDIFF_POMPEY_SR_16/4/11'Cardiff City vs Pompey.'Steve Cotterill on the touchline.''Picture:Steve Reid 111367-839
Jamal Lowe Picture: Joe Pepler

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Pompey will embark on a European pre-season tour if their American schedule falls through.

Steve Cotterill has been forced to draw up contingency plans as he looks to finalise the Blues’ summer programme.

As it stands, Pompey remain focused on spending two weeks in the States from the middle of July.

That would entail spending a week in Charleston, South Carolina, followed by a second week, possibly in Washington.

But unforeseen problems at the American end have delayed matters being finalised.

Organisers of the tour, which was initially not going to cost the Blues a penny, have experienced a hitch.

It is frustrating for Cotterill, who is desperate to plot out his pre-season plans as swiftly as possible.

That has led to the creation of a back-up plan, which this time involves remaining in Europe.

Austria, Germany or Holland are all being looked at by Cotterill as alternatives.

A training base in England is also being considered should the need arise.

But Pompey’s manager was remaining optimistic the fortnight will be spent in America as planned.

He said: ‘Trying to sort out pre-season is taking longer than I would want it to.

‘I have never been this late into a summer and not had our pre-season plans finalised.

‘I am waiting on other people, really. There is nothing more I can do to force the issue.

‘I speak on the phone every day to try to get it sorted but it has taken longer than I thought. In fairness, there have been some contributing factors to it.

‘People have to trust me, it is nothing to do with our club, nothing at all.

‘It is just very difficult for the person in America to sort out at this moment in time and he is trying his best.

‘What we have also got to bear in mind is we are trying to get this for next to nothing.

‘Rest assured, though, I have got contingency plans.

‘If it does not come off there are a couple of places I’ve got lined up in Europe, instead.

‘There’s Austria, there’s another base in Germany and I have also got other options in Holland.

‘I have got a base we could go to in England as well if it comes to that.

‘It’s about trying to nail it all down.

‘But, if America fails, I have got something else up my sleeve.’

Cotterill is already adamant he doesn’t want to endure the same travel problems which blighted Pompey’s pre-season tour of north America last summer.

For that reason, he is planning just the one flight in and out of the States.

The Blues boss also wants his squad to spend a week in Charleston, taking advantage of facilities he regards highly.

That option is still not out of the question, though.

And for Cotterill, it certainly represents his preferred choice.

He added: ‘Charleston is our first choice and is where I would like us to be based.

‘I want to make sure things are right.

‘If we wanted to go on a plane into three different time zones, pre-season could have been achieved ages ago.

‘I do not want a repeat of last time when we lost two to three days’ worth of training by travelling.

‘Charleston has tremendous grass pitches.

‘It has good training facilities and would involve a lot less travelling.

‘Those facilities would also be on our doorstep.

‘The man looking after this from this side of the fence is trying to get sponsorship, so we may have to contribute some money towards it

‘But, for sure, I think it would be worthwhile.’