Lampitt praises Cotterill job

David Lampitt welcomes Steve Cotterill to the club last June
David Lampitt welcomes Steve Cotterill to the club last June
Joe Hancott was 16 years and 161 days when he made his Pompey debut in the Checkatrade Trophy against Fulham Under-21s on Wednesday night Picture: Joe Pepler

From Pompey apprentice to record holder - in seven weeks

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David Lampitt has saluted Steve Cotterill’s Pompey heroics.

And the Blues chief executive has reiterated the importance of the manager remaining at the heart of the club’s future.

Cotterill has shrugged off Pompey’s persistent off-the-pitch dramas this season to lead them into mid-table in the Championship.

In addition, up until Tuesday’s defeat to Coventry, they had emerged as unlikely play-off contenders.

Regardless, in a season of consolidation the Blues have managed to avoid relegation.

And all that armed with the smallest squad in the Football League.

Cotterill’s performance in his maiden Fratton Park campaign saw him linked with Wigan several weeks ago.

There were also rumours Pompey were eager to offer an improved contract but that proved to be wide of the mark.

Nonetheless, there are plenty of plaudits going Cotterill’s way at present.

And Lampitt, who was involved in his appointment back in June of last year, has also been singing his manager’s praises.

He said: ‘I think Steve has done a great job for us.

‘He’s had some difficult challenges to overcome and done a very good job keeping a small squad of players together and getting them to fight for him, the football club and our supporters.

‘From my point of view, Steve knows we are keen to retain his services.

‘He has a contract for three years and I absolutely want to make sure he is part of the continued rebuilding of the football club. I’ve read rumours about other clubs but nobody has approached me and I’m not sure they necessarily would.

‘I think Steve has done a very, very good job this season.

‘And I want him to continue doing that and being part of the future of the football club.’

Pompey spent almost five weeks at the bottom of the Championship at the start of the season.

They also failed to win in 10 matches in all competitions at the turn of the year.

Ultimately, though, Cotterill managed to keep them up with plenty of games to spare.

Undoubtedly, there have been some worrying times this season.

But Lampitt revealed he was always confident in the abilities of his manager and players.

He added: ‘We were in insolvency for the first three months of the season and there have been a couple of times in the course of the season we have been staring into an abyss in terms of the future of the club.

‘But I can honestly say I was never particularly concerned about relegation after we broke the spell of the first seven games of the season.

‘I know in January we had a bad run and I think outside of the club there was some concern.

‘But I can honestly say I was never looking down.

‘I always felt confident in the abilities of the manager, coaching staff and players that they had the necessary ability and attitude to get us well clear of danger.’