Ertl:Players will stick around

Johnny Ertl battles for possession with Stevenage's Dani Lopez during the goalless draw at Fratton Park on Saturday Picture: Joe Pepler
Johnny Ertl battles for possession with Stevenage's Dani Lopez during the goalless draw at Fratton Park on Saturday Picture: Joe Pepler
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Johnny Ertl believes there will be no mad rush to leave Pompey if the club wins its date with destiny this week.

The Blues head to the High Court on April 10/11 in a bid to resolve a dispute between owners Portpin and potential new incumbents, The Pompey Supporters’ Trust, over the valuation of Fratton Park.

Victory in the capital for the Trust would enable Pompey’s fans to look forward to a brand new start – albeit, most likely in League Two.

Whereas, a verdict that favours Balram Chainrai would lead to further uncertainty regarding the club’s very existence.

It promises to be a case that will have all connected with the club on tenterhooks.

But in a move that will boost pro-Trust fans’ hopes of a successful conclusion, Pompey skipper Ertl expects many of the current squad to stay put if the supporters are finally granted permission to take control at Fratton.

The players have been doing the business on the pitch in recent weeks, with Saturday’s goalless draw against Stevenage extending their run without defeat to five matches.

And with the Blues unbeaten at home since February 2, they have climbed off the bottom of the League One table to stand a chance of exiting the relegation zone before a 10-point administration deduction is imposed.

That has helped lighten the mood around Fratton Park – as will news that many of the Blues’ current first-team squad, who are either on loan or on month-to-month deals, are keen to stick around beyond this season.

‘A lot of players have already mentioned that it would be nice if we can keep this group of players together,’ said Ertl.

‘Because now we have a really good group of players who are honest players and work hard for each other.

‘We don’t have strong individuals who are just looking after themselves, we look like a strong team out there.

‘But a lot of players are free agents in the summer – the majority, every single player, in fact.

‘It’s going to be really, really difficult again.

‘But there is a lot of hope at Portsmouth and I hope with the court case and the future that everything is going to be sorted and we can walk in a bigger and brighter future.’

The Austrian midfielder admitted there was a degree of uncertainty among the players about what lies in store for the Blues.

However, he stressed his team-mates were well aware of how special a club Pompey is.

‘Nobody knows what’s going to happen,’ added Ertl.

‘We have to wait until the court case and see.

‘The players are aware of the situation and the fact that this is a great football club.

‘They have coped with this situation very well and I’m really proud with how all the players have responded.

‘They really, really fight for each other and the club.’