Hermann could follow Webber as boss eyes fresh start

Danny Webber salutes the Blue Army after his final game for Pompey
Danny Webber salutes the Blue Army after his final game for Pompey
Michael Smith has not been included in this year's team photo

Striker omitted from Pompey team photo

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Steve Cotterill explained the reasons behind his decision to let Danny Webber go and revealed: Hermann could be next.

The Blues boss told the ex-Manchester United striker he was not part of the club’s future in a 40-minute private meeting at the team hotel the evening before Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Scunthorpe.

Webber was widely expected to be offered a new deal after fighting back to fitness from a knee ligament injury, which ruled him out for 13 months.

But the Pompey boss has decided to pursue new recruits instead.

And Cotterill has also revealed Hermann Hreidarsson’s wage demands will see him follow Webber out of Fratton Park, unless there is a drastic reduction in terms following contact with the Icelander’s agent.

Cotterill said: ‘Danny Webber won’t be staying – he will be moving on. It’s just a decision I have made.

‘I had a really good chat with Danny for about 40 minutes on Friday night.

‘It’s two-fold: our budget will shrink next season and on Danny’s present wages, he would be a bit heavy for us.

‘Therefore you would be bringing back someone who has already been here and they would be on reduced wages.

‘So I’m not quite sure that is the route to go down.

‘And I think you may be better off having a fresher face and that’s nothing to do with Danny’s football ability.’

Fans’ favourite Hreidarsson also returned from a career-threatening Achilles injury this season.

But at 37 years old, Cotterill has told the defender he has to be realistic on his salary expectations if he wants to extend his stay at Pompey into a fifth season.

Cotterill said: ‘Hermann will be talking about a new contract but not on the money his agent is talking about and you can print that in capitals.

‘From what I gather, Hermann’s agent has emailed David Lampitt and from the money I’ve heard he’s talking about, that won’t happen – 100 per cent.

‘What Hermann has got to bear in mind is he is 37 going into next season.

‘To still be playing football at 37 is a fantastic achievement.

‘But if it means his agent wants the money he wants, then I would say now Hermann will not be staying here.

‘We want to keep him but, at the end of the day, there is a football club to run here and we can’t be stupid.

‘That’s not saying the money he wants is stupid but it’s a little bit heavy for us.’

Cotterill also announced young quartet Pete Gregory, Ellis Martin, Perry Ryan and Billy Goddard would also be released.

But Cotterill is determined to make a fresh start for the future as he looks to build a totally new squad.

He said: ‘Maybe the place needs to be freshened up a bit.

‘The club needs to move on, I think.

‘There are a lot of players here who have carried the weight of the past so this maybe an opportunity to freshen things up.

‘It’s not that we would like to bring a lot of players in.

‘We have simply got to bring a lot of players in.’