Defender pledges future to Pompey

Tal Ben Haim
Tal Ben Haim
Stefan Payne, centre, netted Shrewsbury's winner at Scunthorpe. Picture: Joe Pepler

League One round-up: Shrewsbury move back into the automatics

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Tal Ben Haim insists his future lies with Pompey.

The defender has revealed he will not be leaving the Blues before the closure of the transfer window on Wednesday.

Ben Haim’s situation has been the source of constant speculation following his legal dispute with Pompey.

But the Israel international has now stated he will be remaining at Fratton Park.

Steve Cotterill was told he could not select the 29-year-old last season after he returned to club in January from a loan spell at West Ham.

The player became involved in a wrangle as Pompey called a halt to paying his £36,000-a-week wages.

The case was set to go to a Football League hearing but after new owners Convers Sports Initiatives arrived at Fratton this summer, Pompey reached an agreement with the defender.

With the matter resolved, Ben Haim has started every game this season.

He stated he is now happy to put those problems in the past and stay put at the club he joined in 2009.

Ben Haim said: ‘I enjoy it when I play. Always.

‘Last year I wanted to play but there were problems.

‘Now we’ve tried to sort everything out.

‘I’m here still and I’m happy.’

Ben Haim’s re-emergence has been one of the surprises of the season with his days at Pompey looking numbered just a couple of months ago.

His form has been decent under Cotterill, who has used him in both full-back positions.

The former Chelsea man played a key role in salvaging a point for Pompey against Cardiff City on Saturday.

It was his ball in that led to Kanu, who came on with 13 minutes left, heading his side level.

Ben Haim admitted the Blues were frustrated to not pick up all three points after carving out good chances after the interval.

But he believes the signs are there Pompey will continue to move up the table after the international break.

The defender said: ‘It’s a bit disappointing not to win. We created good chances in the second half.

‘We missed chances from about two yards, so it was frustrating to fall behind.

‘We should have been 1-0 up and then we conceded, but there was character shown to come back. We showed we have good spirit.

‘We are disappointed to draw really. I think we’ve had some good games so far though and probably deserve more points on the board.

‘I think we will start picking them up after the international break, though.’