Mullins urges for Cotterill transfer backing

Hayden Mullins
Hayden Mullins
Pompey keeper Luke McGee endured a difficult afternoon at Ewood Park Picture: Joe Pepler

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Hayden Mullins has urged Pompey’s new regime to back Steve Cotterill in the transfer market.

The Blues are under new ownership for the fifth time in two years following the arrival of Convers Sports Initiatives (CSI) earlier this week.

They have yet to reveal their plans for the club, although team strengthening is widely seen as an immediate priority.

Cotterill had been forced to put his recruitment plans on hold during the protracted takeover negotiations.

Now he will be given the green light, with a host of targets already lined-up.

Mullins is one of just nine players contracted for next season, although that includes out-of-favour Tal Ben Haim.

And he is convinced Cotterill should be trusted to bring in the quality to push Pompey up the table.

He said: ‘We are looking at starting pre-season with eight players. I suppose that’s nothing different from the past two or three seasons I have been here. That is normal for us at the moment.

‘But hopefully the gaffer will be allowed to try to get players in between now and the first game on August 6.

‘I have spoken to him already this week and he is working hard tying up loose ends.

‘There are lots of things needed to be done at the club.

‘He is working his hardest on getting players for next season and I am sure he has some very good ones lined up.

‘I don’t know if there is money available but we need a minimum of 18 players in our squad for next season. Then we can work from there.

‘Last season, with our first XI, we had a really, really good team.

‘I know we are not going to be able to keep them all but we need to get players who are going to strengthen the squad and boost the club.

‘The gaffer has done a brilliant job and was committed last year when a lot of managers could have jacked it in and walked away.

‘He has done a great job, especially with what he has had to work with.

‘Hopefully, this season the owners will give him a bit of money to work with.’

One player heading to Fratton Park is long-time target David Norris.

Pompey have doggedly pursued the 30-year-old since January, when a £250,000 bid was turned down by Ipswich.

Cotterill has kept tabs on the goal-scoring midfielder ever since.

He is expected to be unveiled as the first signing of the CSI regime soon.

And it’s a name Mullins is certainly impressed with.

He added: ‘David Norris is a good midfield player.

‘I have played against him a couple of times.

‘He is a really good player and if we have managed to get him ahead of other clubs that is tremendous.

‘A signing like that can get the ball rolling.

‘Let’s hope so.’