Pearce: I’m staying put

Pompey defender Jason Pearce
Pompey defender Jason Pearce
Pompey celebrate their second goal at Fleetwood. Picture: Mark Robinson

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Jason Pearce gave Pompey fans a huge lift on emergency loan deadline day and revealed: I’m going nowhere.

The gutsy centre-back has been a revelation since his summer move from Bournemouth and had become a transfer target for several Championship clubs ahead of today’s 5pm cut-off point.

With Pompey desperate for cash and attempting to slash their wage bill in recent weeks, Pearce had attracted plenty of attention and was the subject of interest from Burnley this week.

But after the player and his representative met with administrator Trevor Birch and Blues boss Michael Appleton to discuss his future earlier this week, Pearce got his wish to stay at Fratton Park for the rest of the campaign to lead the battle against relegation.

A relieved Pearce said: ‘I love the club and I want to stay and fight. The gaffer has given me the captaincy and I want to show everyone that I can help pull the club through these tough times.

‘We will see what happens in the summer and things will be reviewed then, but for the rest of the season I will fight my hardest to keep this club up.

‘The gaffer spoke to me earlier in the week and told me he didn’t want me going anywhere. He told me that if anything had to be done, it would be better to be done at the end of the season.

‘I listened to that, I had a meeting with my agent and Trevor Birch and that was the message that was put across.

‘I’m a Portsmouth player and I want to do my best. It’s been hard with the money situation and you have to think about your future like everyone would.

‘But, hopefully, the fans will appreciate the fact that we all want to stay and fight to keep this club in the Championship.’

Barring a huge offer from a rival club, it also seems that Pompey will not be shipping anyone else out on loan.

Joel Ward and Luke Varney were other targets, but Pearce believes they will stay to give the Blues a real chance of escaping relegation, especially after the 4-1 win over Birmingham.

Pearce said: ‘I think the gaffer knows that we need to keep everyone together now to give it the best shot we can.

‘I still think we’ve got a great chance of getting out of it. The gaffer has seen that and I want to be a part of it.

‘He wants the likes of myself, Wardy and Varns to stay and help the club out for the rest of the season.’

Appleton has had to bide his time to see if he would lose any other players, but remains hopeful he can bring in two loan recruits to replace the recent departures of Stephen Henderson and Hayden Mullins.

He said: ‘We have still got an opportunity to get a couple of players so hopefully I can get one or two on loan.’