Cotterill refuses to be downcast at threadbare Pompey's plight
Coventry City 2 Portsmouth 0
Monday 09 August 2010
Only a short-sighted football manager would not contemplate the cost of failure when he takes a job and Steve Cotterill admits he considered the impact managing stricken Portsmouth might have on his CV – and decided it was worth the risk.
Cotterill quit as interim manager at Notts County to take over at Fratton Park, turning his back on a position in which his stock could not be much higher after winning the League Two title with 14 victories in 18 matches.
After losing his first competitive game in charge of Portsmouth on Saturday – two days after the club won its battle for survival in the High Court – Cotterill confessed he was already feeling the strain, but insisted he had made the right decision.
"I thought it might be a good opportunity to get hold of a good club," he said. "I didn't think it would be quite this tough. I thought it might be bit more straightforward. There have been a few surprises but you don't find things out when you first walk through the door.
"I am tired. But it is not tiring just for me though, it is tiring for a lot of people. There are some good people at this club and these last weeks have been very difficult. I don't know if there is a tougher job in football but if I do pull it off it will stand me in good stead as a manager. I'm certainly not doing it for the money."
With no certainty yet that Hong Kong businessman Balram Chainrai will agree to take his former club out of administration, Cotterill's only options for strengthening the club's depleted squad are the loan and free transfer markets. Finding reinforcements could hardly be more urgent. The 15 players involved on Saturday, when those seats not left vacant on his substitutes' bench were occupied by four trainees, are all he has and one of those – striker John Utaka – is expected to follow the absent Kevin-Prince Boateng in leaving soon.
"I don't know what I'll do if we have any injuries because what you've seen today is all we've got," he said, reflecting that, as much as he might like to send a reserve team to tonight's Carling Cup tie at Stevenage, it is not an option.
With Michael Brown, Richard Hughes and the impressive Marc Wilson offering Premier League quality in midfield, Portsmouth showed glimpses of promise but produced little in the way of scoring opportunities and a home team bolstered by five new signings won with workmanlike performance, Freddy Eastwood scoring twice.
Ironically, Cotterill turned down a move from Coventry to make him their manager before agreeing to succeed Avram Grant at Fratton Park and he cannot have failed to cast a wistful glance or two at Aidy Boothroyd in the neighbouring dugout. "I am committed to this job," he said. "It is my club now and I'm not going to walk away. Nobody misled me about the problems and I'm going to try to make it work."
Coventry City (4-4-2): Westwood; Keogh, Cameron, Turner, Cranie; Bell (Baker, 76), Carsley, Doyle, McSheffrey; Eastwood, Jutkiewicz (Platt, 73); Substitutes not used Quirke (gk), Clingan, McPake, Wood, O'Donovan.
Portsmouth (4-3-2-1): Ashdown; Mullins, Mokoena, Sonko, Ritchie; Brown, Wilson, Hughes (Ciftci, 73); Nugent, Utaka (Gregory, 83), Smith; Substitutes not used O'Brien (gk), Pack.
Referee A D'Urso (Essex).
Man of the match Wilson.
Latest in Sport
Kevin De Bruyne to Manchester City: £58m deal hits the rocks as Wolfsburg admits they're 'in no rush' to sell former Chelsea midfielder
Pogba to Chelsea: Blues set to smash British spending record with £70m midfielder and £34m John Stones
Manchester City face another struggle to make an impact in Champions League
Javier Hernandez: Great night for Manchester United, terrible night for Chicharito
Paul Pogba to Chelsea: Transfer news live - John Stones latest, Gareth Bale and Neymar to Manchester United, Edinson Cavani to Arsenal
- 1 Hair loss explained: How and why men go bald
- 2 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe Ned Stark's son may have a twin sister
- 3 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 4 iPhone 6s camera: features to include 4K video camera and flash for selfies
- 5 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn