Mullins: Cotterill has credentials to take us places

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett was handed a fresh Fratton Park contract this week  Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey statement defies football’s knee-jerk nature

Hayden Mullins hailed Steve Cotterill's Pompey reign and insisted: He'll take us places.

The depleted Blues head into this weekend's tough Leeds clash on the back of four successive defeats.

The downturn in fortunes has coincided with the loss of Michael Brown and Richard Hughes, as well as being able to name just four substitutes.

On-going problems over squad strengthening have now prompted many fans to fear a frustrated Cotterill will walk away.

Speculation increased after he made a point of applauding visiting supporters at the final whistle at Nottingham Forest on Saturday, a gesture some took as a goodbye.

Yet Cotterill remains fully committed, continuing to fight for Pompey.

For Mullins, the former Burnley boss' tenure under such trying circumstances has been an impressive one.

And the midfielder believes the manager possesses the credentials to achieve great things at Fratton Park.

Mullins said: 'The gaffer is very important. He's a massive, massive part of what we are doing here and all the players respect him a hell of a lot.

'You ask any player here what they think about the manager and they will have nothing but praise for him.

'It's a special club and you can see what he's trying to do here. Given time he will achieve what he wants to achieve, without a doubt.

'I've had a few managers here and we need a bit of calm and a little bit of stability. Let him have a good run at it and he will get it right.

'The job he has done so far has been brilliant.

'It has been tough and, obviously, he's brought good players here, not just anyone, which is the main thing.

'All the players have noticed that and are encouraged by that. Everyone wants to be part of it.

'He's a very good manager, straight-talking and to the point. He will let you know if he is not happy with you but will also have everyone around here buzzing with the banter.

'The gaffer gives the players confidence, which is what everybody needs.

'He's brilliant and hopefully we can turn it around for him, which is what he deserves.'

Cotterill represents Mullins' fourth manager in two years with the Blues.

Tony Adams, Paul Hart and Avram Grant have all come and gone since the midfielder arrived at Fratton Park in January 2008.

And he has been impressed with the way his latest boss has dealt with distractions off the pitch.

Mullins added: 'The gaffer shields us from that. He tries not to let the players use that as an excuse.

'He tries to keep that from us and keep our focus on the pitch.

'We don't really know what is going on in the boardroom.

'He takes all the strain from that, which is brilliant from him, really.

'After the couple of years we have had here, the last thing you want are those on your shoulders. You just want to go out on the pitch.

'And he is brilliant at that.'