Defender insists quality names will come to Pompey

Ricardo Rocha feels Pompey can attract quality signings this summer
Ricardo Rocha feels Pompey can attract quality signings this summer
Sylvain Deslandes could play at left-back if Dion Donohue is switched to midfield

Pompey boss encouraged by ‘good options’

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Ricardo Rocha has dismissed the notion that potential new recruits will be put off from joining Pompey.

Steve Cotterill will undertake a major overhaul of his squad at the end of the season, with just nine players currently under contract for next season.

The Portuguese defender is signed up for next term already after penning a two-year deal last summer, and Rocha is expecting a raft of new faces to join him at Fratton Park before the next campaign.

Having been painted as a crisis club for most of last year, transfer targets could be forgiven for looking elsewhere before committing to Pompey.

But Rocha believes the club is now back on a firm footing and quality players will be eager to join the quest to get back into the Premier League.

He said: ‘I have another year left on my contract but everybody knows that we will need some players coming in over the summer.

‘The gaffer knows that and we all know that. I don’t think people will be scared off by what’s happened at Portsmouth. The worst has passed now.

‘We need to keep moving and think about the future. For sure, the future will be brilliant for the club and for us.

‘In England and not only in England, everybody knows about Portsmouth and what a fantastic club this is.’

Owners Balram Chainrai and Levi Kushnir were reluctant to invest further funds for the manager to spend on permanent additions during the January transfer window and it’s unlikely there will be a big transfer budget this summer if there is no change in ownership.

Cotterill has already indicated he is pursuing several free transfers and has held encouraging discussions with them.

The Blues boss has also stated he will wait until the end of the season to make decisions on which of his existing players will be offered new contracts.

It’s a tricky balancing act for Cotterill, but Rocha knows the current side can only concentrate on a strong finish to the campaign to give the manager the best possible chance of enticing ambitious players to the club.

He said: ‘We will do our best until the end of the season and then we will try to build a stronger team. We have a short squad for the Championship with so many games that we play.

‘For sure, the gaffer knows what he needs to do.

‘People see the way we try to play so I don’t think it will be difficult to attract players to come here and play.

‘It’s difficult for the owners to keep the club moving forward but we just need to concentrate on our football and do our best so that the fans can enjoy it.’