Cotterill buoyed by Chainrai meeting

Pompey boss Steve Cotterill
Pompey boss Steve Cotterill
Michael Smith, left, in action for Bury this season Picture: Sharon Lucey

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Steve Cotterill is cautiously optimistic he will be given the backing to rebuild Pompey after encouraging discussions with owner Balram Chainrai.

The Blues boss met with Chainrai, joint-owner Levi Kushnir and chief executive David Lampitt before Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Leeds.

They discussed their future plans for the club, and Cotterill left the meeting optimistic he will be given leeway to add to his threadbare squad before the closure of the transfer window.

But perhaps even more significantly, Chainrai and Kushnir – who had previously made it clear they were looking to find new owners as quickly as possible – have now indicated they are also looking towards the summer as another important step in the process.

Cotterill, right, said: ‘It all went okay.

‘I think there will be some help but it may not be tomorrow. We may get a couple of players in before the end of the window, if we get lucky with something.

‘But I think the help is going to come towards the end of the season, probably when money will be freed up from players being out of contract.

‘I think there will be some help coming but I don’t see anything coming over the hill just now.

‘But I do think they are going to help me rebuild the club.

‘It was good to have a couple of hours with them on Friday.

‘I certainly feel a little bit more comfortable than I did before meeting them.

‘I hadn’t met them to have dinner with them.

‘My conversations with them had been very brief.

‘I’ve always had to go through the chief executive to speak to them and they want me to open up those lines of communication, which can only help all of us.

‘From what I can gather, they are pretty happy with what’s been done.

‘We’ve got to keep that going and try to build it as well as we can.’

Cotterill is desperate to bring in some new recruits before the transfer window closes next week.

And he believes Ipswich midfielder David Norris is keen to join Pompey after failing to hide his irritation when news of the approach had been leaked.

The Blues boss said: ‘It went public and it came out at their end. It didn’t come from us.

‘I’ve only had a conversation with the manager and David Lampitt has had a conversation with their chief executive.

‘We know how it came out and maybe it was to drum up a bit of extra interest in the player.

‘We know that David Norris wants to join us and hopefully that one can be sorted out, maybe in the next week.’

But the Blues boss is desperate for some permanent additions, rather than relying on loan signings.

He said: ‘When 50-per-cent of our team belongs to somebody else, it makes it very difficult.

‘I started the game with four loan players as the back four.

‘I don’t think there would be another club in the country that has done that this season.’