Skipper lays down blueprint for Blues future

Johnny Ertl. Picture: Joe Pepler

Johnny Ertl. Picture: Joe Pepler

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

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Stability, continuity and sustainability: Johnny Ertl’s buzzwords for Pompey’s rebirth.

The Blues captain has laid down the blueprint for his club’s future after agreeing his return next season on a three-year deal.

Ertl has preached the importance of patience as the club look to build sturdy foundations moving forward.

The 30-year-old knows there will be expectancy placed on Pompey to get out of League Two at the first attempt, after being installed as the bookies’ favourites for the title.

But with Pompey’s first-team budget in the region of a modest £1.2m for the campaign ahead, they are outside of the division’s big spenders.

Ertl feels that’s a positive thing after Pompey’s past problems.

The Austrian reckons looking further down the line and putting a long-term plan in place is the critical factor at Fratton Park.

He said: ‘Everybody has a big part to play. We need to start right from scratch and really have a go at it.

‘That’s exciting and challenging.

‘This is all about the future now.

‘With new ownership and the fans behind us we are on the up.

‘We can draw a line under everything that has happened before and now start afresh.

‘We need patience. There are a lot of signings who need to come together.

‘We are in a good spot right now, and with a couple of signings and the youngsters, we can be competitive next season.

‘It’s a really interesting project.

‘The most important thing is we bring stability to the club. Stability, continuity and sustainability.

‘The club survived and it’s a new exciting challenge – and that is part of the reason why I am staying.

‘It’s a great opportunity. The reality is we are in League Two but we can really climb from here.

Ertl added: ‘When you look back at the Sheffield United game last season you can see the potential at this place.

‘Yes, we need a three or four-year plan with the right people in the right positions. There also has to be a professional environment and we can focus on our jobs with no other distractions.

‘If we can learn from the mistakes of the past it will be a successful story.

‘The times when Pompey were big spenders are gone.

‘So we will see where it leads. If we get financial resources in the future then, fine.

‘But stability is the key for the future.

‘It has to be a learning process now for the whole club.

‘We have to bring in the right people and build a club with really good foundations.’

Ertl also praised boss Guy Whittingham’s policy of recruiting quickly this summer.

He feels buying young players with experience of League two will prove invaluable.

Ertl said: ‘I’m pleased Guy has brought good players to the club early in the summer.

‘It’s completely new in League Two. I don’t know what to expect.

‘But Guy has brought in players with experience at that level and there are senior players here, too.

‘We need to give the team time. We need to mould the team in pre-season.

‘Last season we clicked when we settled. That is what pre-season is for, so I’m glad we already have 12 new signings already.

‘When I look at the signings Guy has made we have to be really happy with the progress he’s made.’

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