Skipper backs play-off push if Cotterill lands targets

Liam Lawrence, right, is eager for Steve Cotterill to be allowed to land his targets
Liam Lawrence, right, is eager for Steve Cotterill to be allowed to land his targets
Pompey and Fulham drew 3-3. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss disappointed not to get victory

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Liam Lawrence is convinced Pompey can make the play-offs next season – but only if Steve Cotterill is given the green light to bring in his summer targets.

The Blues skipper has been taken into the confidence of Cotterill and been shown his close-season shopping list.

Cotterill is desperate to strengthen his squad and has identified at least six free agents.

Three of them are lined up already, with one target, David Norris, now a free agent after Ipswich yesterday announced he will be released this summer.

On top of that, Cotterill wants to sign a number of players who would require transfer fees.

As it stands, though, all player recruitment continues to be on hold while the club’s takeover wrangle continues to drag.

Regardless, the names on Pompey’s wish list have clearly impressed Lawrence.

And the midfielder believes if such shackles are removed from his manager, the Blues will push for the play-offs next season.

Lawrence said: ‘If the gaffer gets the resources and gets the players that he’s on about getting, then this club has every chance of making the play-offs.

‘But if he doesn’t then we’re going to be in the same situation, which is going to be horrible.

‘I can put my hand on my heart and say some of the players mentioned are good players.

‘You know, I think a few of them are going to have to be frees with the situation of the club.

‘But, hopefully, if the new owners come in, we can pay money for players and I think you will be talking about Premier League players and players of that kind of quality.

‘We have a meeting with David Lampitt quite regularly – just me and a couple of other players.

‘We have meetings about things we can improve around the club – for them and for us – so I spoke to him and said we need some players for next year and we need to back the manager.

‘The gaffer is a hungry guy who wants to get out of this league and if he’s not backed we could be back in this situation next year.

‘If the present owners are still here or the new owner comes in then there’s going to be two ends of the spectrum, I would have thought, to how much money he can have.

‘So fingers crossed things go through and we can start getting some players in.’

Lawrence arrived at Fratton Park in August with the belief Pompey could be pushing for promotion.

A barren January on the transfer front left the players, management and fans disappointed as that ambition failed to materialise.

Now he’s hoping Cotterill will soon be allowed to bring in players of the calibre to push for the Premier League next season.

Lawrence added: ‘This season has been one of those seasons – you’ve just had to dig in and get through game by game.

‘We need players who, when they come to the club, need to be right.

‘They’ve got to be good players with a strong head.

‘And I’m sure the manager will bring them to the club if he can.’