Pompey returned to training yesterday, of course the international stars, and those senior players out of contract that were offered new deals are still away after world cup duty – in fact it is unlikely that many, if any at all, will return?
Even so 22 players were in attendance, which is not a bad amount it is – although of course more than half of that number are ‘probably’ academy players, or youngsters with little or no 1st team experience yet, but this will come.
Steve Cotterill, when talking to The Pompey Site, said that he was glad to see the ‘smiling face’ but knows we need more bodies to come in – he is not moaning at the situation at all though as he knows what he took on: ‘it was a good first day with smiling faces all looking forward to what’s ahead. Right now it’s about finding out where they are fitness-wise and where we can take them while avoiding injuries.
‘I’ve got some good lads here, but what we obviously need to do is to add to them. I’ve chatted to the senior players and they’re all top lads.
‘At the moment the squad is a bit light. There’s nothing we can do about that now, but I’ve told the lads all they need to do at the moment is to concentrate on themselves.
‘We’re restricted financially, but I knew that from day one. Nothing’s changed. We’ll deal with it and I’ll get a team together.’
One notable attendee was Dave Nugent, although this means little or nothing – he featured in pre-season training last season and was soon loaned out when this was possible.
An absentee was of course David James, he is not ‘due back’ until next week – if he actually does return?
Cotterill remains ‘hopeful’ that he can persuade his to stay next season but is leaving him to have a break at the moment: ‘I had a chat with David James the other day and I’ll probably have another chat with him next week. At the moment he needs to shut off because he’s had a lot of football. He needs to have a bit of a rest.
‘It would be nice for David to be here next season, but let’s not get carried away – he’s a top goalkeeper and in demand. How in demand he is from other clubs I’m not sure, but we’d like him to be here. We live in hope.’
The Mail, in typical paper fashion, portrays Cotterill as saying James WILL be with Pompey next season, although when you look at what he is ‘quoted’ as saying this is not the case at all: ‘from the tone of the conversation all is not dead as regards him staying at Portsmouth. He needs to go away and weigh up his options.’
That, to me, is not a man saying that someone ‘will’ stay, agree?
I hope that Jamo stays, we all do, to be perfectly honest, as I have already said, I cannot see it – I hope to be proven wrong though…
As for pre-season games themselves, we kick-off next weekend at Havant & Waterloovile then it is then off to America soon after for a couple of weeks – not that he is expecting much ‘results wise’ though: ‘we go to America for two weeks and have got three really tough games out there.
‘They’re in mid-season so I’m not expecting to get too much results-wise, but building fitness will be imperative for us.’
The new Pompey manager knows that he has a challenge on his hands, and a big one with us this season, but he is up for it! Bring it on seems to be his message, and I like it.
That, I think, is why the vast majority are happy with his appointment, as the recent poll I added showed…
PLAY UP POMPEY!
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