Andy Cullen reveals Portsmouth promotion ambition as he eyes hotly-contested League One battle with Ipswich, Sunderland, Wigan, Sheffield Wednesday, Bolton and Rotherham

Andy Cullen insists the Championship is Pompey’s goal for the forthcoming season.

Monday, 2nd August 2021, 1:07 pm
Chief executive Andy Cullen believes Pompey can challenge for promotion in the forthcoming League One season. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Although he admits the League One line-up is as tough as he has ever known.

The Blues have undergone a wide-reaching overhaul – both on and off the pitch – since failure to reach the play-offs last term.

Danny Cowley has signed eight players so far, with Connor Ogilvie and Dan Gyollai now poised to join their ranks.

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Undoubtedly summer recruitment has been laboured at times, much to the frustration of Pompey’s head coach and supporters.

Nonetheless, chief executive Cullen is adamant Blues ambition remains fixed on another promotion challenge in 2021-22.

He told The News: ‘We can do very well this season.

‘We’ve had an encouraging pre-season in terms of playing a lot of Championship teams and more than matched them.

‘We have more players coming in, we are very, very confident in the coaches and there’s a nice blend of youth and experience among the players.

‘Still around the squad are those that have done well for Pompey in recent years, with players also coming down from the Championship who have that experience and nous.

‘Overall, I think it’s a really, really good group of players.

‘There is no reason why Pompey shouldn’t be competing next season at the right end of the table.

‘Promotion is the aim we’ve all got. That’s what we are here to do, to make sure we are ready and equipped for that challenge.

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‘When you are integrating a new squad, you need a little bit of time to hit the ground running, that will come as the season progresses.

‘We are determined to make sure we are in and around that top-six position and looking beyond that as well.

‘That’s where Portsmouth Football Club and its supporters rightly demand to be – and that’s what we’re looking to do.’

Certainly Ipswich and Wigan have produced eye-catching dealings in the transfer market this summer.

Unsurprisingly, Paul Cook’s Tractor Boys are regarded as favourites for a division containing seven former Premier League clubs.

Cullen added: ‘It is going to be a very, very competitive division.

‘You are already seeing that with some of the players coming in, the size of the clubs which are in League One.

‘I think it is as competitive a League One as we’ve ever seen in terms of the size of the clubs.

‘Everyone talks about the investment of Ipswich and Wigan, while no doubt Sunderland will be another in terms of investing extensively in players.

‘Then you have your clubs such as Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham have been up and down, and Bolton coming up from League Two.

‘I think it’s going to be a fantastic division – and am really, really looking forward to it.’

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