Cotterill pays heartfelt tribute to Blue Army

Steve Cotterill has thanked Pompey fans for getting him through what has often been a tough season
Steve Cotterill has thanked Pompey fans for getting him through what has often been a tough season
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Steve Cotterill raised a salute to Pompey’s fans and admitted: I wouldn’t have made it without you.

The Blues boss highlighted the club’s long-suffering followers as the key to getting him through another dramatic season at Fratton Park.

Cotterill reflected on a tumultuous first season as Blues manager as his men moved towards the final part of the campaign.

Pompey head into the international break after today’s clash with Leicester, with just eight games remaining.

Cotterill explained it had felt like a gruelling marathon at times to get to this stage.

But, in an emotive tribute, he lauded the fans and his players as fundamental to him battling through the problems he has faced.

Cotterill said: ‘After the international break we have eight games to go.

‘I’m thinking: “My God where has the season gone”.

‘But, at times, it’s seemed a day has been a month because there’s so much that has gone on. It’s been quite remarkable, really.

‘A lot of people will not know about this, really, only the people in Portsmouth.

‘Even the people in Southampton, Brighton and Bournemouth won’t know and probably won’t care, either – or maybe even enjoy it!

‘It’s been an unbelievable year. I bet all the journalists have got through a few pens.

‘Some of it has seemed to drag but it’s only a month left.

‘It has been a rollercoaster. I’m on the last bend and I’m just trying to look around it and see if there’s anything else.

‘Hopefully someone hasn’t bricked up the finishing line!

‘I think there are a couple sets of people who have kept it going – the players and the fans.

‘I think they are the ones who are out there doing it. Without those two on side I wouldn’t have got through it.

‘The support we’ve had home and away has been brilliant, absolutely first class.

‘We’ve probably had just a couple of boos along the way – and I would have booed us when they have! They’ve been great.

‘I know as a manager you can’t always say everything you’d like to say because that might be slightly damaging.

‘So you can’t say everything and, at times, you might have to take a bit of personal stick because of that.

‘You can’t even dig yourself out because you can’t tell the whole truth.

‘But that’s the same with managers all around the country.

‘It’s not just me, it’s just that I’ve had to do it every week!’

Cotterill admitted the loyalty of Pompey’s fans – particularly on the road – had been something that had struck him in his time at the club.

He said: ‘I include the fans in everything.

‘Wherever we are, no matter if we’ve been bottom of the league or where we’ve been in the country, they are there.

‘There will be over a 1,000 at every away game we have left. That’s fantastic.

‘We’ll have Swansea at home and then Burnley away over Easter. You can bet your life there will be over 1,000 up at Burnley.

‘That’s two days after the Swansea game.

‘That shows you their class.’