Lawrence delivers Pompey pledge

Liam Lawrence is happy to remain at Pompey for their League One campaign - but accepts he is more likely to be sold this summer
Liam Lawrence is happy to remain at Pompey for their League One campaign - but accepts he is more likely to be sold this summer
Conor Chaplin could start againsyt Plymouth. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey v Plymouth: pre-match talking points

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Liam Lawrence has pledged to ‘respect’ the Pompey captaincy and lead the club in League One next season.

But the midfielder believes he will be sold this summer, with former loan club Cardiff interested in his services.

The Republic of Ireland international is back for pre-season training next Monday along with the rest of his Blues team-mates.

For the 30-year-old, it is a return to Fratton Park having left on loan for then-Championship rivals Cardiff at the end of February in a bid to reduce Pompey’s wage bill.

Lawrence was an ever-present for the Welsh outfit in their march into the play-offs – and claims Malky Mackay has told him he wants him back.

In the meantime, the midfielder, who is contracted until the summer of 2014, will start pre-season with the Blues.

As club captain, he insists he has no qualms about remaining at Fratton Park for the campaign ahead.

Realistically, however, Lawrence – believed to be on about £19,000 a week – realises he and the other senior players must depart in order for Pompey to cope financially.

He told The News: ‘If Michael Appleton needs me to stay then, as club captain, I would lead by example and say “no problem”.

‘I take the responsibility of being captain seriously. I respect that role and always have done. It’s a responsibility I always enjoy.

‘It would not be a problem staying and, likewise, I will be there in pre-season working hard along with the rest of the lads. I am a Pompey player.

‘But I know everyone is available and, at the end of the day, the club are looking for me to leave so they can reduce the wage bill and I accept that.

‘At the end of the season Michael said he would love to keep us all but obviously he can’t.

‘Cardiff have told me they are interested but, in the meantime until anything gets sorted, I have a job to do here and I will carry that out. It’s what I am paid to do.

‘I will come back here on Monday and only if I am told to move on, I will.

‘It’s such a shame what has happened to this club, but it looks like they are going to be letting all us senior players leave.

‘It is down to us to work hard in pre-season until that moment comes. We owe the club and the fans that.’

Lawrence made 15 appearances during his loan spell at Cardiff, without missing a single match.

And he believes the Bluebirds are interested in having him back.

He added: ‘I did okay at Cardiff. I would not have played every game if I had not been doing well.

‘When I went there I’d just come back from another calf problem but I felt stronger in each game and it’s fine now, thank God. It was doing my head in.

‘When I left I spoke to Malky Mackay and he said he was looking to take me this season. Obviously I would be interested.

‘You don’t know what can happen. Until things are signed you never can say they are done, so I’m just waiting to see what develops.’