Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

Kaboul calls for unity at Portsmouth

Younes Kaboul maintains Portsmouth must stay united on and off the pitch as they look to kick-start their campaign.

Pompey have so far lost all three matches of the new Barclays Premier League season, but tomorrow's Carling Cup clash with League Two Hereford will at least offer some respite to the beleaguered Fratton Park club.

As a takeover fronted by chief executive Peter Storrie, and which may yet involve would-be buyer Sulaiman Al Fahim, continues to move slowly forwards, manager Paul Hart is running out of time to strengthen his squad ahead of the transfer deadline on September 1.

Nevertheless, all of the Pompey players and coaching staff remain committed to the cause.

"We know it will be a hard season for us because we do not have many players, but we have to keep going," said former Tottenham defender Kaboul, who scored in the 4-1 defeat at Arsenal on Saturday.

"We all have to stay up and need the fans behind us. I hope they understand the situation of the club.

"We are doing what we can with what we have got.

"The fans were massive for us at Arsenal on Saturday - and I have just one message to them: be patient.

"The situation will get better and I hope we will be doing better in the future."

Kaboul added on PfcTV: "When you wake up in the morning knowing you have lost 4-1, it is horrible, but we are professionals.

"We just have to keep going and training hard.

"We did the best we could against Arsenal, and are now looking forward to the Carling Cup match."

Forward John Utaka also believes the Pompey faithful can play their part in the club's revival.

"Our fans are terrific, we have to keep them happy and we have to keep trying for them," he said.

"The Carling Cup is a challenge, but we have to keep going and one good result will change things round for us."

Hart, meanwhile, continues to do his utmost to add to a squad which has been decimated following summer departures such as England pair Glen Johnson and Peter Crouch to try to help balance the books.

Defender Steve Gohouri, released by Borussia Monchengladbach, will be hoping to impress during a trial, while former Germany midfielder Dietmar Hamann has also been linked with a free transfer switch to the south coast.

Lens striker Aruna Dindane is another said to be on Hart's wish list, along with Bolton duo Danny Shittu and Gavin McCann.

"I don't know if I will have money," said the Portsmouth manager, who fought a successful battle against relegation last season.

"It may be that we have a little bit of money to spend, but as a club, we have got to cut our cloth differently, whatever happens.

"We have to deal differently and that is something I was made well aware of through the summer and that is the way I am working now."

Even though Portsmouth have limited options, Hart is expected to rotate his side somewhat for tomorrow's game.

England goalkeeper David James, however, is not likely to feature as he nurses a bruised knee, so Asmir Begovic, who came on for the closing stages at the Emirates Stadium, should start.

"I think we have been extremely well organised and disciplined in the three games we have had," added Hart.

"We should have got more from those games, but we are still giving it a go."

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