Cotterill eyes push for promotion

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Adam May. Picture: Mark Robinson

Pompey boss: Youngster can prove critics wrong

Steve Cotterill has tasked his men with making a promotion assault in 2011 as he claimed: We are in with a shout.

The Blues boss has had to deal with a variety of obstacles since assuming command back in June.

But with his side 15th in the table heading into Christmas, Pompey have two games in hand on many of the sides above them.

And sixth-placed side Coventry City are just six points ahead of the Blues.

Despite Cotterill's hopes of adding to his squad yet to be resolved, he remains hopeful Pompey can challenge to get back into the Premier League at the first time of asking.

He said: 'It's an open division and we've got to make the most of it.

'I've probably had those ideas in my head for a little while.

'After the start we had, I had to be careful not to say those things too early.

'But if most managers put their cards on the table, they would say that they want to be in that top six.

'From there, it's a roll of the dice, really.'

Recent away wins at Swansea and Norwich have given Cotterill enough encouragement that his men can compete with the better sides in the Championship.

But he is determined that those two victories will not be the most memorable games come the end of the campaign.

He said: 'Hopefully, they are not the stand-out games – hopefully, those are ahead of us.

'I wouldn't want those to be our best games of the season.

'It would be nice to have a big one at Wembley to remember.'