Cotterill sets sights on summer targets

Pompey boss Steve Cotterill
Pompey boss Steve Cotterill
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Sol Campbell on his return to Fratton Park in December. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Steve Cotterill reflected on Pompey’s ‘wasted season’ and insisted: We can’t afford a repeat.

Cotterill admitted the stream of problems his side have had to deal with this season have impacted on the club’s progress.

Hopes of making the play-offs are now a distant memory, with Pompey needing to end a slump in form to avoid relegation.

The 46-year-old revealed he is already planning ahead to the summer with his transfer targets lined up.

The likes of midfielder David Norris, whose contract at Ipswich is coming to a close, is likely to come into the equation.

Cotterill also has players who will command fees on his shopping list.

He said: ‘I would know a couple I want.

‘There are a few players out there, a couple of frees I’d be interested in.

‘Then there’s a couple of fees I’m interested in.

‘We can’t go through another season like we’ve gone through this one.

‘It’s tough enough as it is and we’d end up going only one way.

‘It’s been a wasted season really because I want to win.

‘It’s difficult to win with all we’ve had thrown at us this year.

‘That’s the most difficult thing because your fans want you to win.

‘I thought it all might have been straightened out by now.

‘But we’ve gone from one muddle to another and we are dealing with them.

‘It gets you down and it winds you up.’

Cotterill may be taking a long-term view with Pompey, as they overcome their legacy problems.

But he has already warned his team they are not too good to go down this season and can’t overlook what is taking place now.

The Blues boss explained he was thankful he had been able to call on loans to help his squad through a rocky period.

Pompey have had to overcome doubts about their financial stability to allow those men to come in.

Cotterill said: ‘While there is a long-term plan, there will never be a long-term plan if there isn’t a short-term one.

‘We have to have that. If I want something today, the chances are I don’t want it today – I need it today.

‘I’ve probably proved my values to everyone at the football club.

‘We’ve been needing for a long time – we keep it going, don’t we?

‘We would have to have a busy summer, that’s for sure, and an expensive one.

‘We are going to need a few. How many would depend on what sort of money we have to spend. We need a few.

‘We are thankful to everyone for the loans we have now.

‘Without them we would be struggling. That’s a credit to those managers.

‘There are obstacles because people might not want to loan players to Portsmouth because they think they won’t get paid.

‘We’ve done that and proved that so hopefully going forward people will think we are trustworthy because that’s definitely an issue.

‘Hopefully, they think the lads will be looked after.

‘They all seem to be enjoying themselves.’