Pompey owners give backing to Cotterill

Steve Cotterill worked wonders at Pompey last season
Steve Cotterill worked wonders at Pompey last season
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Roman Dubov today told Pompey fans: We believe in Steve Cotterill.

The 1-0 loss at Leeds on Saturday made it four defeats in five matches for the Blues.

That has left them two points above the relegation zone at this early stage of the campaign.

But despite the stuttering start, Pompey’s joint-owner Dubov insists Cotterill has the ‘talent and attitude’ to succeed at Fratton Park.

Cotterill worked wonders last season to steer the Blues to a 16th-placed finish despite the club’s off-the-field troubles.

And Dubov has no doubt the 47-year-old is the right man to get Pompey climbing the table again soon.

In an exclusive interview with The News, Dubov said: ‘It’s very important for all the supporters to know we’re always with Steve.

‘We support him and believe in him – his talent, his attitude and his work.

‘We understand it’s difficult for the fans to understand where we are right now.

‘Of course, we ourselves want to be in the top part of the table, not the bottom.

‘But we see the progress of the team and we understand there’s a long way to go and it’s not going to happen in one day.

‘Every day our staff prepare for us a list of things from Facebook and Twitter, so we know what the fans are saying.

‘We support Steve and all our staff from the first day they come to the club to their last.’

Dubov has promised that Convers Sports Initiatives (CSI) are at Fratton Park for the long term and won’t be making any empty promises to fans.

And he stressed that – along with fellow owners Vladimir Antonov and Chris Akers – he wants the same things as Blues fans.

Dubov said: ‘Thank you very much for the fans who’ve supported us and we appreciate all the good things they have to say, and the bad things, too.

‘We know what they want and we are on the same team.

‘Our position is that we’ve come to the club to make it successful and we’re trying to bring our expertise and experience to make it a success.

‘Portsmouth fans are very unique and very vocal and we like that.

‘The fans must understand how many problems were at the club, and we’re not going to change everything in one day, one week or one month.

‘We’ll try to do our best.’

CSI also hope to see as many Blues fans as possible turn out for tomorrow night’s charity match against Russian top-flight side FC Rostov (7.30pm).

The game will raise money for the families of the Lokomotiv Laroslavl ice hockey team.

Every member of the squad died when their plane crashed last month – and Dubov and Antonov knew some of those players personally.

Ticket prices have been reduced from £10 to just £2, with accompanied under-12s gaining free entry.

Pompey are expected to play a host of first-teamers.

Antonov said: ‘This was a very sad moment for Russian ice hockey.

‘I knew a couple of the players and we felt it was our duty to help their families and to support Lokomotiv in the future.’