On this day: Sol - Pompey have wasted their chance

Former Pompey captain Sol Campbell

On this day in 2009, Sol Campbell said Pompey had wasted the chance to build on their 2007-08 season heroics.

The Blues skipper issued a stark assessment of the club’s current situation, saying he believed the club had gone backwards.

Campbell claimed the club were paying the price for not replacing their top stars.

And he added it would take a monumental effort to get Pompey back to the level of European football.

‘Portsmouth have to look at the whole financial situation before they start coming to players,' said Campbell.

‘They’ll probably have to sell (the club) before they start looking at other situations.

‘All the players have to wait and see what the club’s prepared to do.

‘You can’t do anything until the club is sold or (the owner) stays on or whatever.

‘It’s tough because we just needed two or three good players and we’d have been up in Aston Villa’s position now, no question.

‘That’s the sad thing about it. We were so close.

‘There is potential there at Pompey but I really do think that for whatever reason it’s gone now.

‘In the sense that to get back to the level of European football on a regular basis, it’s going to take a big effort now over the seasons.’

Campbell added: ‘We were cruising until we lost all of those players; Pedro (Mendes) and Sulley (Muntari) last summer, (Jermain) Defoe and (Lassana) Diarra in January.

‘If any side loses four good players and don’t replace them, you’re not going to be firing on all cylinders.

'It’s not rocket science.’

In a season of turmoil, Campbell also revealed his disbelief at Pompey’s slide down the table.

He admitted former boss Tony Adams was sacked before things ‘got really messy’.

And the former England man was at pains to praise then caretaker boss Paul Hart, along with new coach Brian Kidd.

‘You have to keep believing, but it just kept on going the other way.

'When you are eighth and then you are one point off the bottom, it’s hard to take.

‘Eighth and then nothing works, nothing. Unbelievable.

‘How long can you go on for? But I think it got sorted out before it got really messy.

‘Paul Hart’s fantastic, he’s straight down the line and Brian Kidd has come in, he’s really upbeat.

'He knows his stuff and the lads have responded very well.

‘Everyone is thinking and working in the right direction, especially the training now, it’s good. We just have to keep going.’

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