Mokoena demands action from owners

Jack Whatmough is gutted after Nicky Ajose nets against Pompey for what would be the decisive goal.

Pompey 0 Charlton 1: The Final Verdict

Aaron Mokoena has demanded Pompey's owners sort the club's 'unacceptable' contracts saga.

The Blues' charge up the table faces being undermined by stalled talks over renewing players' deals.

Steve Cotterill's men delivered an outstanding 2-0 win over high-flying Norwich on Saturday.

But their already stretched squad was unable to call on the services of Richard Hughes at Carrow Road.

Hughes missed out as he can make only one more squad appearance before any more will activate a clause in his contract and give him a new deal.

It is an identical situation for Michael Brown after he started in the weekend win.

Pompey cannot afford to pay Hughes' current wages and discussions over a compromise have not been successful.

With Cotterill's squad already at breaking point there is no way they can sustain a play-off push on such limited resources.

Captain Mokoena believes it is imperative Balram Chainrai now takes steps to remedy the problem.

He said: 'We have good players and quality players but with the small squad we have it is always going to be difficult.

'What we need now is for the board to play a part.

'We have lost a quality player, Richard Hughes, when he can play.

'For me, that is unacceptable.

'We need everyone and we need to fight together.

'The owners need to come on board.

'At this point in time I don't know what is happening.

'I don't whether money is available – nobody does – and that is unacceptable.

'The coaching staff can always do their best and the players can always do their best but it's time the owners came on board.

'We are now in a position where we have players on yellow cards.

'Touch wood we haven't really had any long-term injuries but if that happens we are in trouble.

'For me we need the board to come on board and help us.'

Mokoena hailed the character of his side, as they delivered a second-half super show to stun Norwich.

The triumph at Carrow Road saw Pompey graft to just their second clean sheet in 16 outings.

Mokoena said: 'I've always said we have characters in this team.

'We have players who can withstand the pressure and deal with it.

'We need to come out of or shells a bit but we have the ability to do that.

'It's good we won and that we can now really look forward to the two games we have coming up at home.'