League Insider - Pompey
Rob Parrish takes a look at how there could be light at the end of the tunnel for Portsmouth.
Last Updated: 01/11/10 10:09am
Whisper it quietly, but there are signs of the green shoots of recovery appearing among the previously barren landscape of Portsmouth's Fratton Park.
Eight months ago, the inevitable slide into administration of the 2008 FA Cup winners was confirmed with the club sucked into a swirling vortex of financial despair from which they have been lucky to emerge.
Enough has already been written about the failings of previous regimes and now is not the time for further finger-pointing about who is to blame for allowing the city to come within a whisker of losing their 112-year-old club.
Instead, Pompey fans will hope to this week finally celebrate their exit from administration should the Football League rubber-stamp the Company Voluntary Agreement put forward by prospective new/old owner Balram Chainrai and Andrew Andronikou.
There are also signs of promise on the field too. In Steve Cotterill, Portsmouth have a no-nonsense manager who has coped admirably with the continuous off-field distractions, which have spilled over into his match-day preparations, with a shortfall of substitutes a regular occurrence this term.
Cotterill has picked up Pompey by the scruff of their neck and fashioned a side from his wafer-thin squad which has recovered from an understandably shaky opening spell to record three successive victories on home soil to edge away from the drop zone.
That run included Saturday's success in a five-goal thriller against promotion-chasing Watford, with the hosts showing great character to hit back after falling behind to inflict a first away defeat of the season on the Hornets.
Prior to the international break, Pompey had again demonstrated their resilience as they hit back from 2-0 down away to Middlesbrough at the Riverside to salvage a point, sending the travelling contingent home happy for their 300-mile journey back to the South Coast.
With results improving and the anticipated exit from administration coupled with a lifting of the club's transfer embargo, there could be more to cheer for Pompey supporters in the coming weeks, providing welcome relief after months of misery.
Performance of the week
There are some strong contenders for this honour after another enthralling weekend in the Football League.
Peterborough edged a nine-goal thriller with Swindon at London Road as the luckless Kevin Amankwaah put through his own net in the third minute of added time, while Bury made light of their long trip to Torquay by coming from 2-0 down to triumph 4-3.
But Hereford are the worthy winners following their heroic comeback against Northampton at Sixfields - Liverpool's Carling Cup conquerors less than one month ago.
The Bulls, who continue to prop up the entire Football League despite Saturday's stunning success, trailed 3-0 at the interval before scoring four times in 20 second half minutes as the Cobblers capitulated.