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Unhappy Grant is livid at broken Pompey promises

Portsmouth manager Avram Grant has hit out at the broken promises that have left his side staring Premier League relegation in the face.

The Israeli took over as manager when Paul Hart was sacked in November and was led to believe that he would be in a position to add four players to his side last month.

But with the club struggling to pay their players for the fourth time this season, and needing to sell Younes Kaboul and Asmir Begovic to balance the books, Portsmouth have only recruited striker Quincy Owusu-Abeyie.

The Kaboul and Begovic deals were negotiated behind the backs of Grant and chief executive Peter Storrie, prompting both men to consider leaving Fratton Park. Both opted to stay, but Grant admits that the failure of owner Ali al-Faraj to deliver new blood during the transfer window has hurt the Fratton Park club's hopes of survival.

Grant, whose side play Fulham at Craven Cottage this evening, said: "I'm not a quitter and I'm not afraid of problems -- for me a problem is a big challenge and I came here with a big challenge. But I'm very disappointed with the situation off the pitch and I'm disappointed that people cannot do what they promised.

"When I came to the team, I knew the situation was not good with the football side, but they promised me everything was good with the financial side and that we would bring four more players. So we made a lot of progress on the football side. We showed a lot of character and were thinking about the next step -- to stay in the league.

"We needed to bring in players, especially as we had a lot of injuries in the team. There was a lot of pressure on a very short squad. We've had injuries, as we thought we would have, and instead of bringing in two players, we sold two players. I'm very disappointed," he added.

While Storrie said last week that he and Grant had reason to consider their positions, the Portsmouth manager has concerns other than his own future.

"I'm trying not to think about myself now, especially when we have a game," he said. "The main issue is Portsmouth Football Club and the fans. I'm trying to think what is best for them. Of course I don't feel we did the best for them off the pitch. But on the pitch, we are always trying to do the best."

┬ęThe Times, London


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