Grant forgets Pompey woe to focus on Birmingham

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The Independent Football

Portsmouth manager Avram Grant has refused to commit his future to the club beyond the end of the season and insists his focus is on today's FA Cup sixth-round tie with Birmingham.

"My long-term future is with Portsmouth today," he said. "I'm thinking only about this match and then we'll think about what will happen after. We don't know what will happen. We don't know who the owner will be or what will happen with the administration."

The South Coast side look very likely to be relegated from the Premier League as they prepare to be hit with a nine-point deduction after being placed in administration. That would leave them 14 points adrift of safety with just 11 games to go.

Grant must now wait to see whether Pompey's nine-point deduction will be rubber-stamped by the Premier League. The decision was delayed on Thursday after HM Revenue and Customs challenged the legality of Pompey's decision to go into voluntary administration.

Whether or not Pompey get the green light to go down this route, Grant has called on the Premier League not to punish the club's long-suffering supporters any further. He said: "When people come to decide about this, I hope, with all the respect in the world, they will be logical enough not to do it. But maybe I am too optimistic."

Grant was mobbed by fans after he led Portsmouth to a 2-1 triumph at Burnley last Saturday. "I try to put myself on the sidelines and remember when I was a child and supported my team," he said. "These fans deserve someone who will fight for them."