Skipper ‘gutted’ by Pompey exit

Christian Burgess saw red at Stevenage last Saturday Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey v Newport: Early team news

  • Robinson makes shock Pompey departure
  • Captain expresses disappointment at leaving
  • Defender pays tribute to supporters
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PAUL ROBINSON reflected on his shock Pompey exit and admitted: I’m gutted to go.

The Blues captain last night made a surprise departure less than a year after moving to Fratton Park.

Paul Robinson Picture: Paul Robinson

Paul Robinson Picture: Paul Robinson

Robinson is being linked with a move to League Two rivals AFC Wimbledon, after his contract was cancelled.

The 33-year-old’s leaving, after Paul Cook told him he would be skipper next season, will be seen as a left-field move by supporters.

The former Millwall man established himself as a key figure in the side under Andy Awford, making 38 appearances and scoring two goals.

He became a popular figure with the Fratton faithful in that time, with his consistent displays a rare constant in a difficult campaign.

The defender explained the last few days have been a tough period for him.

And there is disappointment that he is on his way from Pompey.

Robinson said: ‘I’m gutted to leave and it will be a bit of a surprise to people that I’m leaving Portsmouth.

‘I thoroughly enjoyed playing here last season.

‘I took to the club and I felt at home from day one. I felt good and I felt comfortable here.

‘I’m frustrated from a professional point of view and my personal ambitions.

‘But I just want to wish everyone at the club every success for the future.

‘It’s one of those things in football and I hope there are no hard feelings on either side.

‘I’ve agonised over things and it’s been a long few days.

‘I’ve agonised over it, but now I just have to move forward.’

Robinson’s departure will remove a top earner from Pompey’s first-team wage bill.

That will allow Cook greater recruiting manoeuvrability in what is set to be a busy period building up to the League Two opener with Dagenham & Redbridge.

Matt Clarke is in line to complete his loan arrival from Ipswich next week, after impressing in pre-season.

That will leave Clarke, Christian Burgess and Adam Webster as Pompey’s available central-defensive options, with Jack Whatmough recovering from a knee injury.

Ben Davies is set to fill the vacant right-back spot, with Dutch triallist Frank van der Struijk departing.

Cook is also still looking for another attacking option.

Robinson hopes the Pompey boss can bring the success he feels supporters deserve.

He added: ‘The fans have kept the club going.

‘The passion and the atmosphere which is generated is incredible.

‘I just hope those fans get the success they deserve and crave.

‘I hope the manager and players bring them that and they can enjoy revelling in it.

‘I just hope the supporters’ loyalty is rewarded on the pitch.

‘They have shown such commitment in recent years. They deserve that success.’

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