Cotts has grounds for optimism from owner talks

Steve Cotterill takes training at Pompey's Wellington Sports Ground base
Steve Cotterill takes training at Pompey's Wellington Sports Ground base
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett

Jackett: It’s crunch time for Pompey

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It’s been two weeks since they assumed control of Pompey.

Now, all of a sudden, things are starting to happen.

The Convers Sports Initiatives (CSI) era is up and running, and the malaise which set in during the Balram Chainrai era has been replaced by a vigour brought on by the new owners.

Blues boss Steve Cotterill has finally been released from the financial strait-jacket which has had him tied up for the summer.

Cotterill yesterday confirmed Ipswich Town captain David Norris will be joining his new Pompey team-mates when they return for pre-season training on July 1, with his player hunt clicking into gear.

And his meeting with CSI man Roman Dubov and chief executive David Lampitt on Monday also saw the green light given for business to begin in a host of other areas.

Work on the club’s training ground at Eastleigh has been cleared by Dubov.

New pitches are already being laid at the Wellington Sports Ground and other equipment is being added to the club’s base to give Cotterill the facilities he wants.

The club’s academy was also on the agenda when the Hungarian-born Russian was at Fratton Park getting down to business.

Cotterill, who yesterday committed his future to Pompey in the wake of speculation of interest from Birmingham, is delighted the wheels are now finally turning at his club once again.

He said: ‘The meeting went well when I spoke to Roman, that’s for sure.

‘All of a sudden things are getting done that were on hold.

‘Things have started happening in the last couple of weeks. Things have gone on in the last 48 hours.

‘We can now start looking forward again.’

Cotterill has been hands-on as he has watched work take place at Eastleigh this summer.

He believes Pompey can make that their base for years to come if money is spent wisely on developing it in the right manner. That’s what he intends to see happen, and is certain the new owner’s money is being used in the right way.

Cotterill said: ‘I’ve spent a lot of time out on the training ground this summer.

‘We are probably a month behind on the work that is needed to be done.

‘But for the amount that we are getting done, I’d rather be a month behind.

‘I’d rather have that than be up to date and not achieved anything.

‘The new owners have come in and okayed all the work that needs doing.

‘I’m thankful for that and it has been a real bonus. The training ground is going to be much better as a result of what is taking place.

‘The quality of the surfaces will be far improved.

‘And there will be a lot of brand new equipment coming in.

‘That will be first class. I’m really pleased and thankful.

‘The money on the training ground wasn’t cheap.

‘It hasn’t got us any players yet but we are moving on with that.

‘There’s a lot to be excited about.’

With the lines of communication now well and truly open between Cotterill and the new regime, the Pompey boss anticipates this being a busy time for him.

Squad reinforcements are the obvious short-term priority, with David Norris’ capture making it nine players the 46-year-old can call upon.

Cotterill explained there is another meeting with Dubov pencilled in later this week for a progress report on developments.

The Blues manager, however, isn’t expecting to be able to get away to recharge his batteries with the pace picking up at his club.

Cotterill ‘I’ve had one good meeting. There could be another one later this week. We don’t quite know what days yet.

‘I don’t anticipate going too far at the moment with things being so busy.

‘I certainly don’t anticipate me going off on holiday anywhere this summer!’