Wednesday 21 February 2018

'Portsmouth looking a bit healthier but we're not out of woods yet'

Alan McLoughlin during his Portsmouth playing days in 1998. He later coached at the club's academy, and has maintained fond feelings for Pompey despite the difficult times it has faced in recent years
Alan McLoughlin during his Portsmouth playing days in 1998. He later coached at the club's academy, and has maintained fond feelings for Pompey despite the difficult times it has faced in recent years
Liam Kelly

Liam Kelly

Portsmouth FC have remarkable support, averaging gates of around 17,000 in League Two, where most clubs only get a couple of thousand spectators.

The level of support also brings pressure to succeed, despite the financial restrictions of a club which does not yet have its own training facility.

Pompey train at the University of Portsmouth grounds, and Alan McLoughlin drives a van packed with all the training equipment to each session at the college.

It is a far cry from their days as a Premiership club, and winning the FA Cup in 2008. Since then Portsmouth have gone through a disastrous series of financial problems.

They went into administration twice and suffered three relegations. The club almost went out of existence until the Pompey Supporters Trust took over in April 2013.

McLoughlin had been coaching in the Portsmouth academy, but Guy Whittingham, who took over as manager at the start of this season and was subsequently let go in November, asked the ex-Ireland player to be first team coach. Andy Awford, an ex-Portsmouth player, is now caretaker manager.

McLoughlin said: "The board and we as staff have been delighted with the turnouts in what have been difficult times. It's been a difficult season.

"We're on to our third manager now (since Whittingham left in November). Then Richie Barker came in and now Andy Awford, my good friend who I've known since 1992, has come in and steered us to a couple of victories.

"It's looking a little bit healthier but we're not out of the woods yet."

Indo Sport

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport