Pompey boss waits on owner's call

Dan Smith was involved in both Pompey goals as the Blues' academy side lost 3-2 at Southend Picture: Colin Farmery

Late heartache for Pompey Academy

Steve Cotterill will be waiting patiently by his phone today to hear Balram Chainrai's verdict on Pompey's January transfer window strategy.

The Blues boss is battling a deepening selection crisis ahead of the New Year's Day trip to Watford where he could be left with just 13 fit and available regular first-teamers to choose from.

But after recent discussions with the Blues owner, Cotterill is optimistic he will given the green light to add to his threadbare numbers over the coming weeks as he struggles to field a side.

Speaking directly after the 3-3 draw at Leeds, Cotterill was hopeful he would get the go-ahead to bring in some new recruits during the transfer window.

He said: 'I will know tomorrow because I might be getting a call from Mr Chainrai.

'He said he would let me know on January 1 and I negotiated December 29.

'I am always hopeful - I'm ever the optimist.

'We just need a little bit of a hand and we could be alright you know.'

Dave Kitson picked up a late yellow card which will see him suspended for the trip to Vicarage Road, while Michael Brown and Richard Hughes have both reached the limit on the games they can play before triggering new contracts.

And more worrying for the manager is that injuries to Jamie Ashdown (knee) and Joel Ward (back) could see both of them facing fitness battles to make the clash.

Cotterill said: 'We just need a bit of help and it might solve all our problems if we can get in the top six and do well in those play-offs.

'That's what we're trying to do.'