Ryan Williams gives frank verdict amid contract doubts theory reason behind Portsmouth's plummet

Ryan Williams has scotched the suggestion contract uncertainty is the reason behind Pompey's plummeting promotion push and declared: it couldn't be further from the truth.

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 2:05 pm

The Blues' woeful form continued as they slipped to a third successive defeat against Sunderland at Fratton Park last night.

Kenny Jackett's side were deserved 2-0 losers, having failed to register a shot on target throughout.

After sitting top of the League One table over the festive period, Pompey now teeter on the edge of the play-offs by a point and there are genuine fears they'll blow a top-six finish.

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There have been suggestions a lack of clarity over new deals is affecting form, with Kenny Jackett admitting it could be the case.

In total, 11 players' contracts expire this summer. They include Williams, Tom Naylor, Andy Cannon, Jack Whatmough and Craig MacGillivray – all of who started against Sunderland.

However, Williams emphatically poured cold water on those claims.

The Aussie winger told The News: ‘It's not an excuse and it's not one we are using.

Ryan Williams in action during the defeat to Sunderland. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘If anything, the thing that will help us most would be if we got promoted and how you get promoted is working hard and playing well.

‘We have had a dip and it wouldn't work in our favour to put the tools down.

‘There is not a better club to be at as players to get into the Championship. It is set up to where we want to be and we haven't been good enough – that is it.

‘It's got nothing to do with contracts and the climate we are in because of the pandemic.

‘We just haven't been good enough. We are not feeling sorry for ourselves and just need a boost.

‘We just need to keep working hard because we are all in this together.

There have been a couple of whispers here and there (about the contract theory) and people just look at each other and are like “What!?”

‘I'd prefer to stay here. I want this club to do well and that's why I came here – to get them back to the Championship.

‘I can see the angle they're coming from and it couldn't be further away from the truth.’

Williams returned to Fratton Park from Rotherham in the summer of 2019 with the ambition of helping Pompey reach the Championship.

That hunger remains are strong as ever despite the Blues’ faltering results.

Williams added: ‘There are a good few of us who are out of contract at the end of the season.

‘But, for us, it would work better to get promoted here than going anywhere else.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

On Saturday, March 13 Pompey will finally get their day at Wembley.

To celebrate the Blues’ place in the rearranged 2020 EFL Trophy Final, The News has launched an offer that gets you 25% off all our Sports subscriptions.

You can choose your perfect Sports subscription here and use the discount code ROADTOWEMBLEY25 to get the latest news from Fratton Park for less. Offer runs until midnight on March 15.