So much for Pompey stability

Convers Sports Initiatives - including from left Vladimir Antonov and Roman Dubov - may face a search for new Pompey boss
Convers Sports Initiatives - including from left Vladimir Antonov and Roman Dubov - may face a search for new Pompey boss
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Jamal Lowe. Picture: Mark Robinson

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After a season of survival, it was heralded as a campaign of stability.

Except, that stability is starting to crumble after just 68 days.

Nottingham Forest’s interest in Steve Cotterill is poised to shatter such fine sentiments.

Question marks remain over his Pompey future amid what is now a two-day vow of Fratton Park silence.

Will he? Won’t he? Will he? Won’t he?

Well, the smart money is on change once more being afoot on the south coast.

Not that it is worthwhile putting a bet on the long-time overwhelming bookies’ favourite for the Forest job, of course.

Still, there are many Pompey fans noisily embracing the possibility of Cotterill’s departure.

No room for sentiment towards a man who has occupied the hot-seat during the club’s most uncertain spell for more than a decade.

No time for back-slapping the person responsible for keeping the Blues in the Championship last term amid the most testing of circumstances.

It’s a new season with new rules – and new ambitions.

The arrival of Convers Sports Initiatives ensured the slate was well and truly scrubbed and bleached clean for everyone concerned.

A forward-thinking ownership presented Cotterill with a transfer kitty and the pledge of patience as the club is rebuilt. It was a faultless pitch. The fans have long craved for stability and an infrastructure constructed on solid ground.

However, a number of disappointing results, some uninspiring performances and, of course, Nottingham Forest have changed all that.

With a mere 10 league games and 68 days of the season gone, Cotterill’s stay has become an uncertain one.

And suddenly Pompey could be seeking their 14th manager in less than 14 years.

Not that the former Notts County boss has given any indication he is eager for a return to the east Midlands.

He has continued to fulfil his duties this week regardless of the speculation, including taking training at the club’s Wellington Sports Ground base.

His loyalty, however, will hinge on whether the club opt to stand aside and allow Forest access.

If the Blues manager, himself, wanted evidence as to where he stands, that would be nothing short of compelling proof.

Such is football, with three matches in eight days on the horizon, a poor run of results could in all probability force his removal from the helm anyway.

If not, the growing voices of discontent among the fans would do their best to demand such action.

As it is, in the here and now, there is clearly a sizeable element of Blues supporters who want a new man in charge.

Harsh considering the excellent job Cotterill performed last season.

And those are the superb endeavours which have seen Forest come calling.

This time around he had the chance to actually build his own squad rather than relying on loans to bolster meagre numbers.

Money was spent, 17 players left and 10 arrived in a massive Fratton Park overhaul.

It’s a painstaking rebuilding programme which requires time and patience.

Unfortunately, that has not quite been forthcoming.

Pompey have lost six of their first 11 matches of the campaign.

There have been four defeats in the past five matches.

All losses have been by a single goal. Nonetheless, supporters’ expectations are better than that.

In addition, they have become increasingly critical of the style of football on display.

Pompey currently sit an unimpressive 19th in the Championship.

And few are interested in patiently waiting for players to gel when results – and displays – disappoint.

Regardless, last week Roman Dubov publicly backed Cotterill in The News.

It was a gesture to unite the club and convince fans the manager’s position was not under threat.

Then Forest came calling.

They are eager matters are finalised in time for Saturday’s trip to Coventry.

Tellingly, Pompey’s traditional Thursday pre-match press conference will now be held tomorrow morning.

It remains to be seen who will face the media to discuss the Barnsley fixture.

The end game appears to be near.

And that could mean Pompey’s search for stability starts all over again.