Why Portsmouth hero felt such pain at in spells with Rangers and Sporting Lisbon - as he lays down challenge to Danny Cowley's men

Pompey favourite Pedro Mendes admitted he shared the fans’ pain when his old club slid from the Premier League to League Two after his exit.

By Sam Cox
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 4:55 am

And the former midfielder is desperate to see the Blues return to the Championship in the near future.

Only five years after the ex-Portugal international departed Fratton Park in 2008, his former employers found themselves in the fourth tier of English football amid financial turmoil off the field.

It was a difficult position to see the club where he became a hero in – after he played influential roles in memorable moments not too long before.

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He then featured heavily in Harry Redknapp’s side that recorded their highest-ever Premier League finish and won the FA Cup in 2008.

But as he featured for clubs like Rangers and Sporting Lisbon, before retiring in 2012 – Pompey were looking to rebuild from basement division.

He told The News: ‘The fall down the leagues was hard to see.

Pedro Mendes played for Pompey from 2006 to 2008. Picture: Steve Reid

‘Pompey is a club I’ll never forget and the Pompey fans were fantastic to me all the time, and I’ll be grateful for them all the time.

‘I saw the way they love their club alongside the passion they have for it. To see where the club went was of course painful for them, and when I saw that I felt the pain they were feeling.’

The 2022-23 season represents Pompey’s sixth successive term in League One, and their 10th in the bottom two tiers of English football.

Such surroundings are, of course, a far cry away from the ones Mendes experienced throughout his time on the south coast.

Regardless of this, the now 43-year-old thinks the club are on the right path to get back to former glories with stability off the field.

And he’s hoping Danny Cowley can deliver Championship football next season for the Fratton faithful.

Mendes added: ‘Now I think they’re on the right track, so they just need a promotion to the Championship to make everyone happy.’