Date: 14th March 2009 at 11:09am
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Welcome to the unofficial Pompey news round-up.

Club News

As we know, the Portsmouth squad are team building in Dubai, something that is not unwelcome as we drop into the bottom three and relegation is suddenly becoming a stark possibility. We’ll hope that the same effect happens on the lads as it did in 2007, as Richard Hughes points out on the official site, we went on a five game unbeaten run, including a win against Manchester United, and narrowly missing out on a UEFA Cup spot.

Portsmouth FC have also signed up to the United Arab Emirates’ “Footie Abu Dhabi” scheme, which will see the club return this December to participate in various workshops at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre. It will see a number of high profile clubs and sports associations come together to help increase the popularity of football in the Middle East. This will of course work two ways, with Portsmouth Football Club becoming more popular there in the process.

Last Wednesday evening saw Blackburn take on Fulham at Craven Cottage, and got a huge result with a 2-1 win. This, unfortunately, was at the expense of Pompey, pushing us for the first time (and hopefully last time) this season into the relegation zone. Read Rug’s take on it here.

We all have eyes on the reserves and Academy at Portsmouth, however they appeared to be one and the same side with most of the reserves squad having travelled out to Dubai with the first team. Unfortunately, the reserves were well beaten in midweek by Aston Villa Reserves (read the report here), but the Academy beat West Ham Academy 3-1 away from home. Goals from Kilbey (2) and Navas-Alors ensured Pompey took all three points after going one down. Full report on the Pompey Official website.

Don’t forget ladies and gentlemen to think about heading to the Fan’s Forum on 19th March 2009 to grill (not literally) our executive chairman Peter Storrie and first team manager Paul Hart. Tickets are £10 and include a free pint and a pie (now £5!). For more information, click here.

Squad News

One Pompey player not joining the club in Dubai was Glen Little, who joined his old club Reading on loan for a few months. Read Vital Pompey’s take on the issue here.

Paul Hart has stated on the Official website from the training camp in Dubai that playing against Middlesbrough, Hull and West Brom in our next four games is neither here nor there. He says that he is not worried about playing teams so close to us in the table, adding: “We know what we have to do whoever we play and the focus remains the same”.

Sylvain Distin has not been the player he was last season. He has however recently spoken to the press in an attempt to silence his critics, and assure us Pompey fans that his heart is in fact with us as we battle for survival. You can read about that here. Also, Jermaine Pennant has his say.

Vital Pompey News

First and foremost, a hearty congratulations to Rug, Chix, Eastneydave and Paultsmouth for steering Vital Pompey towards recognition at the NFP Fanzine Awards. The judges have chosen their final few and Vital Pompey have been shortlisted for the big prize, and our very own Chix has been nominated for Best Writer. I’ll have my fingers crossed because we all know that Vital Pompey is the best Portsmouth FC fan site around. For more information, click here.

Those of you who are regulars to this site know about Eastneydave’s regular Toast feature. Check it out here.

Paultsmouth has also started a new feature here. It’s a nostalgic look at Portsmouth’s highs, and is a great read, even if you don’t remember the game itself I can guarantee you’ll enjoy reading!

Gino’s Teaser

This week’s teaser is going to be an easy one, as it’s the first, so have a bash at this one:

Can you name the only team of the 92 Football League teams that begins with 5 consecutive consonants?

Answer next week!

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