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Portsmouth boss predicts bright future ahead

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Portsmouth boss predicts bright future ahead

LONDON (AFP) – Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie suggested Sunday that despite a seventh straight defeat – the worst start in Premier League history – hope was on the horizon.

Storrie is optimistic the spending power of new owner Sulaiman Al Fahim will soon make the squad stronger and has urged the club’s fans to be patient.

“He (Al Fahim) has said there’s 50 million pounds coming, publicly at a meeting to supporters on Friday night,” Storrie told BBC Radio.

“Sulaiman showed the board documentation to say the money’s there. We hope it all comes to fruition in the next few days.

“We can only go by what he’s told the fans and what we’ve seen.”

Pompey missed a host of chances in a 1-0 home defeat against Everton on Saturday and remain anchored to the foot of the table, yet Storrie said that it would be “daft and stupid” to sack manager Paul Hart.

Sunday’s British press have suggested time is not on Hart’s side, with former Celtic boss Gordon Strachan one of the names to be linked to the club.

However Storrie believes Hart can turn things around.

He said: “It’s okay people saying ‘go and change things’ but look at the performance yesterday – and the support.

“It was a very strong performance we think we can build on for the future. You’d be daft and stupid to change it.”

Storrie admitted the Hampshire club’s financial problems prevented the club from being able to replace quality players such as Peter Crouch, Sylvain Distin and Nico Kranjcar during the transfer window.

He explained: “There’s been a massive change and we’ve had to bring players in at the last minute but the performance yesterday was the best for some while.

“We’re confident the players will turn it around – and they are too.”

Storrie refuted suggestions the new arrivals are not good enough for the Premier League.

He explained: “All the players we’ve brought have either played in the Premier League, come from the Premier League, or played in top leagues in Europe.”

Portsmouth have made the worst start by an English top-flight team for 79 years and Hart claims the close-season wrangling over the club’s future that caused so many key players to leave is to blame.

“I can’t put into words what it was like watching player after player leave,” he said in the Sunday Times.

“Crouchie (Peter Crouch), Glen Johnson, one of the best players I’ve ever worked with, (Sol) Campbell, even with that lot it was damned hard work last season.

“I’ve spent more time talking to senior players across this desk than you would care to know.

“Take Sylvain (Distin). He looked at us with 14 players and he’s got concerns. I can’t knock him for that. But getting players in has been difficult because we have no money.

“It’s time people realised that the players who have come in haven’t cost us a bean. We’re not in a position to pay money. That’s it.”

Hart admits that he had offers from elsewhere to consider during the close-season, but insists he never had any intention of quitting Fratton Park.

“I’m not new at the club and I don’t like to leave things unfinished,” he said. “So I decided to stay.”

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