Grant wants Pompey guarantees

BY foxsports • May 2, 2010

The Pompey boss, who has led his side to the FA Cup final against all the odds, delivered an emotional address to the fans, praising their fighting spirit, following yesterday's 3-1 win over Wolves in the final match of the season at Fratton Park. Grant, 54, has already spurned advances from other clubs - believed to be Hull and West Ham - to remain on the south coast. However, with Pompey's debts at around £120million and the club facing the prospect of a possible 17-point penalty at the start of the Championship campaign if the club does not come out of administration via a company voluntary arrangement, Grant wants guarantees going forwards. "I have been approached by other clubs and I could have signed, but I am waiting to see what is happening here," the Pompey boss stressed. "What is more important is not Avram Grant, but what happens with this club. "At the moment, we are in the FA Cup final, so the football side is very good, but the future of the club is unclear." Grant continued: "For me, though, the situation is very clear - if we can build something good in Portsmouth, we do not need the budget of Manchester United, Arsenal or even Everton, but if we know from the beginning what we have and what we can do, there is a guarantee of stability, that is good. "However, there are so many ifs. I like this club very much, but it does not all depend on me. "I think in two weeks we will know either way." Grant - who took Chelsea to within a penalty kick of winning the Champions League - has certainly needed all of his experience to come through the most farcical of circumstances ever faced by a top-flight coach. "I cannot say I have become a better manager, but I have learned a lot on the human side," he said. "These supporters are exactly like I was with my team in Israel, but they are better than me because when my team didn't have success I was angry, but these fans still support the team. "I have learnt a lot here this season, about passion, how you can maintain good football during difficult times, but I do not want another season like this." Aruna Dindane - whose French parent club Lens have agreed to let him play in the FA Cup final without triggering an appearance-related clause - fired the home side ahead on 20 minutes, before Kevin Doyle bundled home an equaliser. However, Pompey went into half-time ahead following John Utaka's 20-yard effort and a well-crafted third from Michael Brown after 67 minutes sealed victory which, but for the points deduction, would have lifted them off the bottom. Ahead of the trip to Wembley, Grant will be hoping the hamstring problem which saw Richard Hughes leave the field in tears during the second half will not prove serious, while both Aaron Mokoena and Dindane were also substituted as a precaution. Wolves boss Mick McCarthy was, meanwhile, left to reflect on another game which saw his side create plenty of chances which were not converted - with substitute Sylvan Ebanks-Blake the most profligate. The West Midlands club had already secured their own top-flight status before yesterday's match. McCarthy is keen to add to the squad over the summer, but is determined not to destroy the team's work ethic which has served them so well following promotion. "We will invest to get players, maybe four or five, who can make us better, but with a similar disposition, attitude, workrate, and character," the Wolves manager said. "If I can get them to add to and improve our squad and keep the same dynamic then that is my aim." McCarthy hinted he may look closer to home for fresh faces. "I am not saying they are better, but it is easier to integrate British players," he said. "Ronald Zubar has been good, but it took him about three months to get up to the pace of the game. I wouldn't want to wait three months again. "If there is time to improve the squad I would like them to be up to speed."


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