Players united behind makeshift pairing

Pompey striker Luke Varney
Pompey striker Luke Varney
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Dion Donohue and Matty Kennedy. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Luke Varney promised the Pompey dressing room are squarely behind their makeshift managerial team.

Varney praised his team-mates for the resilience they have shown in the wake of Steve Cotterill’s departure.

The £750,000 summer signing has admitted his disappointment at Cotterill’s exit for Nottingham Forest.

Cotterill was held in high regard by the Blues’ squad, with most players enjoying a strong relationship with the 47-year-old.

His exit naturally will have bred some uncertainty in the Pompey camp.

But the temporary management team of Stuart Gray and Guy Whittingham still led the team to an important weekend victory over Barnsley.

Varney has called for the players to now keep their focus on events on the pitch, as they prepare for tonight’s clash at Ipswich.

He explained the whirlwind nature of Cotterill’s exit had caught him and his team-mates by surprise.

The striker feels the focus now had to be on delivering for Gray and Whittingham.

He said: ‘I suppose you’ll have to see now (what happens with the manager).

‘The owners will obviously make that decision, it’s completely out of our hands.

‘We’ll just put all of our efforts in for Stuart and Guy and see where we go from there.

‘There’s nothing we can do about it on the field.

‘Stuart said we can’t affect anything apart from when we go over those white lines, so hopefully we’ve done that against Barnsley and can continue doing that tonight.

‘It’s happened so quickly (Cotterill’s departure).

‘All we had to do was concentrate on the Barnsley game.

‘We’ve done that and I think the boys deserve a great deal of credit for the effort and work they’ve put in.

‘They can now look forward to the Ipswich game.’