Shrewd Cotts can turn it around with £5m

Pompey manager Steve Cotteril
Pompey manager Steve Cotteril
Pompey's Brett Pitman celebrates after scoring his second goal in their 2-0 win at Oldham. Picture: Joe Pepler/Digital South

Oldham 0 Pompey 2: they said what?

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Steve Cotterill has been backed to turn Pompey into Championship contenders with a £5m war chest.

Former Blues boss Jim Smith believes Cotterill is shrewd enough to rebuild his team without breaking the bank.

And he urged the club’s new owners to give Cotterill the financial support that can turn his side into a competitive outfit next season.

Smith applauded the job Cotterill has carried out at Fratton Park, as the Blues boss prepares to celebrate his first anniversary at the club tomorrow.

The Bald Eagle, who spent six years at Pompey in spells as manager and as Harry Redknapp’s assistant, feels a reasonable budget will allow him to make an impact.

‘Under the circumstances, Steve has done a super job,’ said Smith.

‘With little help from the previous owners he has battled through it.

‘I bet he is really looking forward to working with good prospects now. He’ll be looking for a bit of a war chest, maybe £5m or £6m.

‘You can definitely be competitive in the Championship with that, a tough Championship, too.

‘That’s all Steve will want – to be given backing to get a competitive squad together.’

Convers Sports Initiatives have made it clear Cotterill is the man they see being at the helm as Pompey continue their rebuilding process next season.

Smith, who has taken charge of nine clubs in a 29-year management career, believes the dynamic between owner and boss will be good if their ambitions mirror each other.

And he believes Cotterill will need to be able to feel he has a strong relationship with the club’s owners.

Smith said: ‘I don’t think Steve speaks Russian so I hope the owners speak English!

‘Anyone who has a boss will want the same thing from them. You want them to have the same ambitions as you and to be honest with you.

‘That’s not just being honest to you but honest to the players, the fans and the staff.

‘All I’m hoping is these people are the right people and they bring stability and money into Portsmouth.

‘It’s been five owners in less than two years. You couldn’t make it up. Amazing.

‘We all just want to look forward now. Everyone connected with Portsmouth knows what a great club it is.

‘There are great supporters and, hopefully, these new owners are the right ones to take the club forward.’

Meanwhile, Pompey look set to miss out on Ritchie de Laet.

The Manchester United right-back, who made 22 appearances on loan at the Blues last season, is close to agreeing a season-long loan with Norwich.