Steve Allen reveals his Pompey assistant boss regret

Steve Allen. Pic: Joe Pepler
Steve Allen. Pic: Joe Pepler
Matt Clarke celebrates his goal at MK Dons. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Steve Allen believes it was a mistake becoming Pompey assistant manager.

And the 47-year-old has admitted he no longer had the ‘fight’ to remain at Fratton Park.

Allen yesterday reunited with Steve Cotterill at Bristol City, having quit the Blues on Monday.

The likeable physio’s exit ended a three-and-a-half year Fratton Park stay, during which Pompey slumped from crisis to crisis.

Yet back in the summer, optimism was high with Guy Whittingham at the helm and Allen appointed as his number two in a dual role to recognise his heavy involvement in player recruitment.

Now Whittingham has gone, to be replaced by Richie Barker, with Anthony Williams as his assistant.

And for Allen the time was right for him to also leave Pompey for a fresh challenge at Ashton Gate.

He said: ‘I have enjoyed my time here over three-and-a-half years, although there have not been many upwards curve. The only positive period was when we were under Steve Cotterill.

‘The rest of the time I’ve been involved in two administrations, three pay cuts, three pay deferrals and two relegations.

‘It has been very, very difficult and I just felt with Guy going I wanted a fresh challenge and a fresh start.

‘Richie made it clear he wanted me to stay but I explained that sometimes if you have been somewhere a long time you have to get out. I was just not up for the fight any more.

‘In hindsight I shouldn’t have taken on the assistant manager role. It was ridiculous I was doing two jobs.

‘But let me make it clear I had no input whatsoever in coaching and tactics and nor did I want to, that was the job for other people.

‘In the summer, though, Guy and the chairman came to me and asked me to do it, so what can you do? I thought it seemed a good idea too.

‘In the end it was becoming too much. Results were poor, I was trying to get players fit and also trying to help the manager, the workload was too great.

‘If we had been at the top of the league I could have done both, you get swept away with it and it would have been great.

‘When you are struggling and you look back, in all honesty it probably was not the right decision.

‘I gave everything for this football club but in the end it started to affect my family and I didn’t want that.’

It was Cotterill that brought Allen to Fratton Park from Charlton in August 2010. When the manager left for Nottingham Forest in October 2011 he tried to the physio with him, yet he remained at Fratton Park.

Now one of the longest-serving members of the backroom has finally linked-up again with his ex-boss – and does so with praise for the people he has left behind.

He added: ‘It is sad, there are good people working at Pompey, while I have never known supporters like it.

‘They are the best in the country and the way they get behind the team is second to none, although it upset me that day they turned on Guy.

‘I think it is going to take a fair amount of time for this club to get to where it was.

‘But you have to remember the team is everything.

‘You get that right and it will drag the whole club up.’