Cotterill slams postponement

Sylvain Deslandes could play at left-back if Dion Donohue is switched to midfield

Pompey boss encouraged by ‘good options’

Steve Cotterill has blasted the decision to postpone Pompey's weekend clash with Scunthorpe.

The Blues boss was left fuming after the Fratton Park fixture was called off more than six hours before Saturday's scheduled 3pm kick-off.

Heavy snow in the morning had prompted the match to be scrapped as early as 8.30am.

Pompey insist the judgement was reached by Preston referee Graham Salisbury, who had inspected the pitch.

Yet it's a decision which some fans have questioned.

Cotterill was infuriated after watching the Blues' second-successive home match fall foul of the weather after the game with Burnley on December 4 was also postponed.

Cotterill was not present at the fateful pitch inspection by Salisbury, although was at Fratton Park shortly afterwards.

And he is adamant the snow could have been cleared in time for the fixture to have gone ahead.

He said: 'I actually spoke to the referee and he said he was happy with the pitch.

'As far as I am concerned, though, the game was called off miles too early – I didn't even know there was a pitch inspection.

'If I had been there I don't think it would have been off.

'With the Burnley game there was no chance. This is different, though. We should have played.

'I didn't even know about it until I had a phone call at 8.30am. I was up and straightaway out of the door.

'I was travelling in but people had already made all the decisions.

'It could have been on, for sure. There was a decision made too early.

'Our players couldn't believe it when they were told, they thought it was incredible.

'Sorry, but I don't think that game should have been called off.'

Pompey's match was one of 34 League fixtures called off at the weekend.

That included seven from the Premier League, while the League Two programme was completely wiped out.

However, seven matches survived the weather in the Championship.

Among them was the televised evening kick-off between Ipswich and Leicester, which at one stage was delayed for 17 minutes while snow was cleared.

Ipswich went on to triumph 3-0, prompting criticism from losing manager Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Cotterill watched that fixture on television and was full of praise for the Portman Road club.

He added: 'Ipswich deserved the three points for getting through the game.

'The conditions were unbelievable but full credit to everyone at Ipswich for working so hard.

'They got their just rewards for keeping that game on.'