Cotts: I’ll keep the spirit up

Pompey boss Steve Cotterill
Pompey boss Steve Cotterill
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Jamal Lowe in action at Fleetwood. Picture: Mark Robinson

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Steve Cotterill has vowed to maintain Pompey’s team spirit as the squad is dismantled.

The Blues boss has promised to keep the kind of unity which coursed through his squad this season intact.

Cotterill faces another huge rebuilding job at Fratton Park this summer, with just nine contracted players remaining at the club.

That includes Tal Ben Haim, who the Pompey boss does not see as a player he can call upon.

Much has been made of the spirit within the squad’s ranks which remained strong through a difficult campaign.

That was a key ingredient in Pompey dragging themselves into mid-table safety after going through some difficult periods this season.

Cotterill brought players in on loan to supplement what was a hugely threadbare squad.

Even those temporary additions bought wholeheartedly into the sense of camaraderie Cotterill developed.

Now the 46-year-old faces going back to the drawing board on the squad front.

But he insisted he is confident he will bring in the right kind of characters to ensure the spirit remains.

Cotterill said: ‘We have ended up with a very good team spirit here.

‘That is talked about a lot but is used lightly.

‘Team spirit is not just about back-slapping, high-fives and huddles. It’s not about all of that.

‘It’s about coming in every day and running hard for your team-mate.

‘Predominantly, these players have done that for 95 per cent of the season.

‘Unfortunately, a lot of it is going to be broken up again now.

‘We have to start again and it’s important we bring in the same type of characters we’ve had this season.’