Laws expects battle against Pompey
Pompey look set to become the first Premier League team to go into administration on Friday after owner Balram Chainrai said that a new takeover at Fratton Park was unlikely before the end of the week and served notice of his intention to put the club into the hands of insolvency experts. Administration will stave off the threat of Portsmouth being wound up, but with the nine-point penalty it carries, it will virtually guarantee their relegation, leaving them bottom of the league on seven points with just 12 games remaining. It means Burnley could be facing a team on Saturday whose fate has already been sealed, but Clarets boss Laws - who was part of a Middlesbrough side that nearly went out of business in the mid-1980s - believes the opposition will show plenty of heart at Turf Moor, regardless of their plight. "It doesn't matter what happens with the football club - they (Portsmouth's players) are professionals and I expect them to go out there and give everything, whatever the circumstances," Laws said. "I have been in that situation myself when I was a young player at Middlesbrough. Very uncomfortable that it was, I think it gelled the team well and everybody stuck together. "It hasn't surprised me to see their performances, although the results haven't gone well." Laws - who has also endured financial difficulties as a manager, particularly during his time with Sheffield Wednesday - was full of praise for opposite number Avram Grant and the way his squad has continued to battle in desperate circumstances. "I know for a fact that when finances are tight, you can't move and you feel like your hands are tied behind your back," Laws said. "But sometimes that galvanises you and certainly I can see the spirit is still there within the team. "I have every sympathy for him (Grant) and there is nothing he can do about it other than get a team out to perform as well as they possibly can - and that is what he is doing."