Gray set to depart for Forest

Stuart Gray, left, with Pompey boss Michael Appleton
Stuart Gray, left, with Pompey boss Michael Appleton

Stuart Gray is set to leave Pompey.

And The News understands Nottingham Forest are hot favourites to recruit the departing Blues first-team coach.

Former Fratton boss Steve Cotterill is keen to add Gray to his backroom staff at the City Ground.

Pompey face Cotterill’s side in their final game in the Championship tomorrow.

But Gray will not be involved in the clash, with his days at the club at an end.

Administrator Trevor Birch said Gray and fellow coach Guy Whittingham’s jobs were under threat, with one of them having to leave the club, and further redundancies being made.

Boss Michael Appleton revealed he and Gray, who has long been linked with a move to Forest, had an honest discussion at the club’s training ground yesterday.

And Appleton hinted he had to make a tough call about the way forward.

He said: ‘I had a good chat with Stu yesterday and we’ve had a frank conversation.

‘What you aren’t aware of is someone’s mental frame of mind. It’s a difficult situation for everyone.

‘I think I have to look at the bigger picture all the time.

‘Sometimes you might seem a bit hard faced, but a football club is not about one individual.

‘I’ve got to think of the best interests of all the players and staff. Some decisions are taken out of your hands, like the staffing one.

‘There’s nothing I can do about those. There’s a realisation they need to be done. Certain decisions I will have an influence on, and rightly so regarding the player situation.

‘If I’m backed into a corner and have to make a decision then so be it. I don’t l like doing it, but at the end of the day someone has to do it.’