Cotterill: Heads have been turned

Warning: Steve Cotterill
Warning: Steve Cotterill
Leam Richardson. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Steve Cotterill believes some of his men have summer moves on their minds as Pompey’s season heads to a close.

The Blues boss has challenged his players to show they still have the will to deliver for their club as they face promotion-chasing Swansea tomorrow.

Cotterill insists there is still time for those whose futures are in doubt to prove they can play a part moving forward.

He has no doubt, though, there are some in his ranks who have had their heads turned by summer moves.

Cotterill explained he made his feelings known in no uncertain terms to a few of his squad members after last weekend’s 3-0 loss at Cardiff.

The 46-year-old praised the resilience Pompey have shown through a campaign of uncertainty.

Now he wants to see if they now have the mettle to deliver against tough opposition in front of their own fans.

Cotterill said: ‘Now it’s down to their own self-motivation.

‘I think we need to be a bit better in the last four games than we have been in the four previous.

‘I think there are a few people now who have got themselves sorted in the summer potentially. I do.

‘There are players in our team now who will be leaving.

‘They probably know it – that’s the truth of it.

‘Whether they decide to stick themselves on the block is up to them. It’s entirely up to what they think.

‘They’ve given a lot this season to this football club.

‘There’s been a very big effort put in by them.

‘I’ve asked for them to put their necks on the line through important times. They’ve known that.

‘I think that has been tough for them. We went to Hull and didn’t know if we’d have a team but they all put their necks on the line.

‘We didn’t know if we’d have anything moving forward.

‘But after last weekend’s game, there are a few who know my thoughts on their performances.

‘If they are good professionals it’s up to them to rid themselves of that.’

Cotterill is still waiting to hear what is happening over the club’s ownership with talk of a takeover nearing completion.

He is desperate to forge ahead with his plans to build next season, with his targets already in place.

Cotterill largely knows what direction he wants to move in with existing staff members but insists his mind could still be changed over the final four games.

He said: ‘I’m pretty much there with what I’m going to do now. I’ve been there for a little while now.

‘What will happen now is people perhaps changing my mind through a positive or a negative.

‘At the moment we need the ownership issue to be resolved because things could change my thinking.

‘If we are going to have new owners I need to chat to them pretty quickly and see what direction they are going to take the club in.

‘I don’t know the answer to what the timescale will be. That makes it more difficult.

‘We will have a budget for next season, though, whether it’s old owners or new owners. There’s still a budget.

‘I think we should be able to speak to players and nail down the contracts now.’