Lawrence: Make ‘magnificent’ boss part of club’s long-term future

Steve Cotterill, left, and Liam Lawrence
Steve Cotterill, left, and Liam Lawrence
Dion Donohue Picture: Jason Chadwick

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Liam Lawrence has called on Pompey’s new owners to tie Steve Cotterill to the club for the long-term.

The Blues skipper believes his manager has done a ‘magnificent’ job since he was appointed in June last year.

And he wants Cotterill to be handed a new deal to ensure he continues to impress for many years to come.

Convers Sports Initiatives (CSI) have already indicated they want the former Burnley boss to remain at the Fratton Park helm.

That is after helping one of the pre-season favourites for relegation comfortably stay in the Championship – and with the smallest squad in the Football League.

Cotterill currently has two years of his existing deal left and remains committed.

But Lawrence is adamant CSI should offer him a fresh contract in the interests of the club’s quest for success.

He said: ‘Obviously we need new players and that is a vital, vital thing because we don’t want to be struggling.

‘But I also think what needs doing is to tie down the manager to a longer contract and keep him at the club.

‘I think he has done a magnificent job.

‘Last year he was given peanuts and he delivered.

‘We even had an outside chance of the play-offs at one point.

‘I think the gaffer is as good as anyone I have worked with.

‘I also don’t think he has ever had the backing that other managers have had.

‘Tony Pulis had a tremendous chairman behind him and great backing.

‘He has ended up doing an unbelievable job.

‘I am sure if the gaffer got the same backing off the owners he could be just as successful.

‘This is not me creeping or anything, I have got a huge amount of respect for him.

‘It’s not just me that sees it that way, there are other senior players who feel the same, such as Hayden Mullins.

‘We respect him and know what he is all about.

‘And I think he should be tied to this football club for the long term.’

Cotterill was spotted at St Mary’s yesterday taking in the England under-21 clash with Norway.

It was another scouting trip for the Blues boss as he explores every option to boost his nine-man squad.

As yet, though, it is understood he has not met with the owners to discuss his playing budget.

And Lawrence is hoping they can give the go-ahead for recruiting to start soon.

He added: ‘If the gaffer had been given the backing in the transfer market at Christmas we would have been straight in with a chance of promotion.

‘It was a tiny squad, then there was the Richard Hughes and Michael Brown saga and John Utaka leaving.

‘Hopefully these owners will let him do things in the transfer window. He wouldn’t let them down.’