Steve Cotterill insists he didn’t have the birthday blues.
The Pompey boss turned 47 on Wednesday while he is away with his squad on their pre-season trip to Charleston.
After some encouragement from Liam Lawrence, youngsters Lewis Stockford and Ryan Williams led the singing of Happy Birthday to the manager at the team meal after training.
But aside from a cake, it was a quiet occasion for the boss, who has become used to missing out on some of the trappings of celebrating his big day.
Cotterill smiled: ‘You can’t change your date of birth.
‘I count myself very lucky. I’m in charge of a very good club and we’re on a pre-season tour in America. Life’s not too bad, is it?
‘It was a nice touch from the lads to sing me Happy Birthday, though.
‘Whenever you’re a footballer or a football manager, the one thing you try to do is keep your birthday quiet so you don’t open yourself up to anything.
‘I didn’t fancy the idea of the lads throwing me in the pond with the alligators.’
He added: ‘It always happens in pre-season.
‘It’s not so much my birthday – I’m always away for my daughters’ birthdays.
‘They are on the 22nd and the 28th (of July) and they are 19 and 21 this year, so I’m more disappointed about missing their birthdays.
‘You make a few sacrifices but, if you look at it overall, you would rather have this type of life – it goes without saying.
‘I certainly don’t count myself unfortunate. I know how lucky I am to be in this position.
‘What’s another year anyway?’